OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are in the enviable position of having an extra week to prepare for the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
John Harbaugh has a plan in place to make sure the players get some extra risk but also stay crisp.
"It's not an in-season practice," he said. "It's kind of an out-of-season practice, sort of. That's the best way I can describe it. They're very similar. The way it's organized is different in that sense, and I'm sure we'll be trying a few ideas that we might come up with, in terms of upcoming potential calls and stuff like that.
"But we'll be working against each other more. We won't really be working against an opponent, and that'll be what we'll do.”
Baltimore will also spend part of the week scouting its next potential opponent, either the Bills, Texans or Titans. The Ravens beat the Texans 41-7 on Nov. 17 at M&T Bank Stadium and also defeated the Bills 24-17 in Buffalo on Dec. 8.
Houston hosts Buffalo on Saturday and Tennessee is at New England in the wild-card round of the playoffs. The Ravens would play the lowest seed to emerge from those games on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 8:30 p.m. in Baltimore.
The Ravens rested several starters for the finale against Pittsburgh, most notably quarterback Lamar Jackson, right guard Marshal Yanda and left tackle Ronnie Stanley on offense. Running back Mark Ingram (calf injury) and Mark Andrews (ankle) were held out of the game.
Jackson has been battling the flu, so the extra time off is especially beneficial.
"[Head certified athletic trainer] Ron [Medlin] sends them home a lot of times, but he's going to be ready for practice [Tuesday], is my understanding," Harbaugh said about Jackson. "So, we should be fine. He was on the sideline. I don't think he felt great, but he was down there. And I made a point to give him an elbow bump. There were no handshakes.”
Harbaugh also held out several key players on defense, including tackle Brandon Williams and safety Earl Thomas.
The Ravens still managed to put an exclamation point on the best regular season in franchise history with a 28-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Baltimore (14-2) extended its winning streak to 12 games and set the single-season NFL rushing record with 3,296 yards.