Must win why? Because it’s getting late and they’re running out out of forgiving probabilities…
The Ravens (7-5) are currently two spots outside the seven-team AFC playoff field, so what are their chances of making it to postseason play?
If the Ravens lose any of their four remaining games, they could end up watching the playoffs from home. There’s a 40-percent chance that a 10-win team misses the AFC playoffs, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The Browns (9-3) are the only team with a winning record left on the Ravens’ schedule. Defeating Cleveland on Monday night increases the Ravens’ playoff odds to 72 percent in The New York Times’ model, but a loss knocks their postseason chances all the way down to 20 percent, which underscores just how important the game is for the Ravens.
Lamar Jackson vs. Baker Mayfield Is Among Week 14’s Best QB Storylines…
Mayfield and Lamar Jackson had strong performances in Week 13, but they both have something to prove in Monday night’s meeting, said NFL Network’s Kurt Warner, who ranked Jackson versus Mayfield as one of the three best quarterback storylines for Week 14.
“Baker has a great game last week. OK, let’s see you do it again,” Warner said. “Lamar Jackson, we know that he’s the reigning MVP, but they’ve struggled a little bit this year, so everybody’s starting to ask … is this the real Lamar Jackson or is last year the real Lamar Jackson.”
The Ravens held their first practice of the week Thursday to prepare for the important Monday night game against the Cleveland Browns, and four players did not participate due to injury.
Veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin), safety/linebacker Anthony Levine Sr. (abdomen), defensive tackle Broderick Washington (concussion) and cornerback Tramon Williams (thigh) did not practice.
Smith did not play against the Dallas Cowboys, but Head Coach John Harbaugh said he might be available to play against the Browns, even if he didn’t practice this week. Smith’s progress will be monitored leading up to the game.
Washington and Williams also missed the Dallas game, while Levine did play Tuesday night. Levine missed one game this season against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6, but he has been one of the team’s most durable players on special teams over the years.
Four other Ravens missed practice for non-injury reasons – defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and cornerback Marcus Peters. Campbell played in his first game back in weeks against Dallas and is still working his way back to full strength.
For the Browns, starting cornerback Denzel Ward (calf) and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge (hamstring) did not practice. Ward has missed Cleveland’s last two games.
Two starting offensive linemen for the Browns practiced on a limited basis, center J.C. Tretter (knee) and right tackle Jack Conklin (knee). Leading receiver Jarvis Landry (hip), who had eight catches for 62 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Tennessee Titans was a full participant.
Regarding the Dez Bryant saga:
The Ravens have officially placed wide receiver Dez Bryant on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
That means Bryant will be sidelined for at least 10 days and miss Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns.
Bryant had an inconclusive test before the Dallas game and was put into isolation as soon as the Ravens got that result. He was then tested again with a rapid results test and produced a positive, according to coach John Harbaugh.
Bryant was eager to play against his former team of eight years and was distraught to get the news just before kickoff that he wouldn’t be able to suit up.