FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — January in Foxborough is a familiar scene for the Ravens as they meet the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round on Saturday afternoon.
Head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens are playing for the right to go to their fourth conference championship game in the last seven years, and they’ll have their starting left tackle available for the first time since Week 16 as Eugene Monroe is active. An ankle injury still limited Monroe in practices this week, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in his first live-game action since Dec. 21.
According to their depth chart, Monroe’s return would push rookie free agent James Hurst to right tackle and four-time Pro Bowl selection Marshal Yanda back to normal right guard spot. Rookie John Urschel had been filling in at right guard with Yanda moving outside the last two weeks.
(Update 4:05 p.m. — Based on pre-game warmups, it appears that Monroe will serve as the emergency backup tackle for Saturday’s game with Hurst remaining at left tackle.)
As expected, rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot/ankle) is active after being listed as probable to play and practicing fully all week. He will move back into the defensive line rotation as a substitute behind five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who returned from a four-game suspension at the start of the postseason.
With Monroe and Jernigan both active after missing the Pittsburgh game, offensive lineman Ryan Jensen and defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson were deactivated for Saturday’s game.
The Patriots listed running backs Jonas Gray and James White as inactive, which is interesting considering how much head coach Bill Belichick has liked to use a committee approach in his backfield this season. Of course, New England could struggle finding room against the NFL’s fourth-ranked run defense, regardless of who is receiving the carries.
The Ravens will be playing the Patriots for the fourth time in their playoff history as they have won two of the previous three postseason games played at Gillette Stadium. Baltimore is 1-7 against New England in the all-time regular-season history that’s been overshadowed by four postseason meetings in the last six seasons.
The forecast calls for temperatures dipping below 20 degrees as the game progresses with winds up to 10 miles per hour.
The referee for Saturday’s wild-card game will be Bill Vinovich.
The Ravens will be wearing white jerseys with black pants for Saturday’s game while New England dons its navy blue tops with silver pants.
Below are the inactives for Saturday:
DL DeAngelo Tyson
TE Phillip Supernaw
DT Casey Walker
DT Terrence Cody
DE Steven Means
CB Chris Greenwood
OL Ryan Jensen
RB Jonas Gray
OL Cameron Fleming
OT Jordan Devey
WR Brandon Boyce
TE Steve Maneri
DL Zach Moore
RB James White