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No game, no practice: John Harbaugh taking unorthodox approach for Ravens' bye week

·Yahoo Sports Columnist
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With it looking like he’s coaching for his life, at least in Baltimore, John Harbaugh is taking an unorthodox approach to the Baltimore Ravens’ bye week:

No game, no practice.

‘We’re better off resting’

The Ravens are not practicing this week. They’re are holding meetings and players are doing conditioning work and of course getting whatever treatment they need, but they won’t step on the field to practice.

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is keeping his team off the practice field this week. (AP)
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is keeping his team off the practice field this week. (AP)

“I know that we’re better off resting at this point,” Harbaugh said on Tuesday, via ESPN. “I think our guys have been hard at work, at it through a long training camp, and it will be good for us to get an opportunity to get off our feet and get our legs back. So I’m looking forward to that.”

Once they wrap up their meetings and such on Wednesday, players have several days off.

Lengthy injury report

In the days leading up to their last game, which was a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens’ third straight loss and fourth in their last five games, Baltimore listed 10 players on its injury report, including both starting offensive tackles.

Harbaugh is hoping some time off will mean a shorter injury report come next week, as the team prepares to play the Cincinnati Bengals.

“We’ve got to get healed up. A lot of guys are banged up. Get some guys back on offense,” safety Eric Weddle said. “And obviously, defensively, we’ve got a lot of guys who are hurting. We’ve got seven games left. There’s still an opportunity, and nobody knows what’s going to happen, right?”

Stretch run will be a challenge

Harbaugh isn’t signed beyond this season, and hasn’t led the Ravens to the postseason since 2014. In the three-and-a-half seasons since, Baltimore is one game below .500.

They’re now 4-5, but the Ravens aren’t completely out of the running yet. Pittsburgh is 5-2-1, and the Cincinnati Bengals are 5-3, though the Ravens’ 1-3 mark in the division isn’t doing them any favors. They’re also currently in the hunt for a wildcard berth; Cincinnati currently has the sixth AFC playoff spot, with the 5-4 Miami Dolphins and the 4-4 Tennessee Titans just ahead of Baltimore.

While their remaining home games don’t look overly difficult — Baltimore hosts Cincinnati, the Oakland Raiders, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cleveland Browns — the team’s three road games will be a challenge. The Ravens will visit the Falcons and Chiefs on back-to-back weeks, and the Chargers just before Christmas.

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