By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
11:51 AM EST, December 30, 2012
Opting for caution heading into a relatively meaningless regular-season finale today against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens have scratched several key players dealing with injuries.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (torn right biceps), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained right knee), wide receiver Anquan Boldin (bruised left shoulder), offensive guard Marshal Yanda (knee, shoulder, sprained right ankle), strong safety Bernard Pollard (damaged ribs) and wide receiver Tandon Doss (ankle) are all inactive.
Middle linebacker Ray Lewis (right triceps surgery) is also inactive. He was listed as probable, but coach John Harbaugh declared him out until at least the postseason.
Running back Ray Rice is active but not expected to play much. Bernard Pierce and Anthony Allen are expected to get the bulk of the carries.
Fullback Vonta Leach (ankle) is active today as well as linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (sprained right ankle, left foot and thumbs).
Rookie wide receiver Deonte Thompson is active today for the first time since an Oct. 7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs where he fumbled a kickoff.
Several starters are expected to not remain in the game for very long depending on the score. That includes quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice.
The Bengals deactivated wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, cornerbacks Terence Newman and Jason Allen, safety George Iloka, rookie defensive tackles Devon Still and Brandon Thompson and tight end Richard Quinn.
As the fourth seed, the Ravens have a shot at improving their playoff standing in the AFC, but only if the New England Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins today in a late afternoon game.
If that were to happen and the Ravens beat the Bengals, the AFC North champions would become the third seed and play the Bengals in the playoffs the following week.
If nothing changes with seeding, the Ravens would host the Indianapolis Colts next week at M&T Bank Stadium.