After a three-day vacation, the Baltimore Ravens went back to work Monday afternoon in preparation for their first playoff home game since 2006. The Ravens will face the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon at 1pm, with the hopes of advancing to the AFC Championship game either at home vs. the Broncos or in New England vs. the Patriots next weekend.
Unlike the Texans, the Ravens have more than home-field advantage in this one. They have a rested squad that coach John Harbaugh, who has carried the Ravens to four consecutive playoff appearance, very much appreciated.
“Well yeah, it certainly hammered home how difficult it is to play in that [situation] – to go on the road especially. All four home teams, obviously, won, which hasn’t always been the case. We managed to overcome that three times, and it really hammers home how difficult that is.
” Our guys did a great job over the weekend. A lot of guys stayed in town – most everybody stayed in town. Some guys had rehab, some guys worked out, things like that. So, it’s been positive for us. From an injury perspective, we look good.”
In terms of injuries, Harbaugh said he expects everyone to play on Sunday. Jameel McClain and Brendon Ayanbadejo, who are both working through knee injuries, have gained the most from the week of rest and should be “good” to go. The three players with concussions — Dannell Ellerbe, Cary Williams and Tom Zbikoswki — are expected to be cleared today by the Ravens medical staff and in turn will be active for the Houston game. And last, and perhaps the most important player on the injured list, Anquan Boldin, was able to run on Monday which according to Harbaugh was a great sign. With the return of Boldin and the presence of Lee Evans, some pressure can be alleviated off rookie Torrey Smith who will be making his first career playoff appearance in the NFL.