The Ravens are looking the end of their season squarely in the face unless they can triumph against the Bengals in Cincinnati and receive some help on Sunday afternoon.
Needing a win and a loss by either Miami or San Diego to clinch their sixth straight trip to the postseason under head coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens must become the first team to beat the Bengals at home this year as Cincinnati has scored more than 40 points in each of their last four games at Paul Brown Stadium. Of course, the Ravens have struggled mightily away from Baltimore this year, compiling a poor 2-5 record on the road, which largely explains why they find themselves needing a win and help to make the playoffs in Week 17.
Defensive tackle Arthur Jones is out for Sunday’s game after he was not able to pass the NFL’s mandated concussion protocol. The fourth-year lineman suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to New England and missed practice all week.
Jones’ slow recovery has come two years after he suffered a concussion and missed two games in the 2011 season.
Second-year defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson would likely take the lion’s share of Jones’ work with fellow reserves Terrence Cody and Brandon Williams seeing increased roles in the defensive line rotation. Williams is listed as active for the first time since the Ravens played at Chicago on Nov. 17.
As expected, running back Ray Rice (thigh), wide receiver Torrey Smith (thigh), linebacker Elvis Dumervil (ankle), and center Gino Gradkowski (knee) are all active for Sunday’s game despite being listed as questionable on the final injury report.
The Bengals will be without their top two tight ends as rookie Tyler Eifert (neck) and veteran Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) are both sidelined for the regular-season finale. This leaves Cincinnati with only Alex Smith and H-back Orson Charles at the tight end position.
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion) is active for Cincinnati after practicing fully on Friday.
Baltimore has yet to earn an AFC North win on the road this season as the Ravens meet Cincinnati for the 36th time in franchise history. They hold the 20-15 edge in the all-time series, but the Bengals are 10-7 against the Ravens at home.
The Ravens will be wearing white jerseys with black pants while Cincinnati sports black jerseys for Week 17.
The referee for Sunday’s game will be Scott Green.
The forecast in Cincinnati calls for temperatures in the mid-40s with a 45 percent chance of rain by the 1 p.m. kickoff before precipitation tapers off later in the afternoon with winds 12 to 13 miles per hour.
Here are Sunday’s inactives:
DT Art Jones
CB Asa Jackson
S Omar Brown
OL Ryan Jensen
WR Deonte Thompson
TE Dallas Clark
LB John Simon
TE Tyler Eifert
CB Terence Newman
DT Devon Still
TE Jermaine Gresham
RB Rex Burkhead
WR Ryan Whalen
OL Tanner Hawkinson
Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio brings live coverage from Paul Brown Stadium.