By Samuel Njoku

With two games remaining, the Ravens are on the outside looking in as it pertains to the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t involved when it comes to postseason seeding. Their final two opponents are teams looking to maximize their position in the playoffs heading into January. The Ravens will first face the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens already defeated Pittsburgh earlier this season, but will need to play even better, considering how many players are on IR. Baltimore will need to rely on players currently not on IR but who are a little banged up.

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Marlon Brown is one player the Ravens would certainly like to have healthy. Not simply because he’s one more weapon they can use against the Steelers, but also because they’d like to evaluate him as much as possible prior to the end of the season. It’s no secret that Brown has struggled on the field, even when healthy. Next season, one of the glaring needs on the roster is at wide receiver. That could mean big changes coming to the depth chart. If the Ravens are on the fence about what his future on the team is, these next two games could help them decide. Unfortunately, Brown is still dealing with a back injury and has officially been listed as out for Sunday’s game. Without only a few days left this season, his chances of playing next week may be slim.

Someone with a better chance of playing on Sunday is Matt Schaub. He was listed as probable to play against the Chiefs last week, but was still felt sore from the shoulder injury he suffered a few weeks ago. This week, he practiced fully and did not appear on the injury report. This means he’s healthy enough to play against Pittsburgh. That doesn’t mean he’ll play, though. Jimmy Clausen has been far from spectacular, but the young QB has shown that he has a much more refined skill set that may give their opponent something to worry about. There’s no question that Schaub has a much greater grasp of the Ravens offense, but there’s a chance Baltimore could decide they’re better off with Clausen.

Rick Wagner and Jimmy Smith were both absent from practice on Monday with knee and thigh injuries, respectively. But since then, both have practiced fully with no setbacks. If everything goes well, the Ravens expect both to play on Sunday afternoon. Smith hasn’t had the season many expected him to have, but he is still the best member of the Ravens secondary. His presence on the field is nothing but a positive for Baltimore.

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Daryl Smith, LB (Non-Injury Related)
Rick Wagner, RT (Knee)
Jimmy Smith, CB (Thigh)

Albert McClellan, LB (Ankle)

Marlon Brown, WR (Back)

Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.

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