It's win and hope for the Ravens

Baltimore hosts Pittsburgh Sunday in regular season finale
Jimmy Smith
Posted at 4:08 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 16:22:14-05

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — For the Ravens it’s simple: win for a shot at the playoffs.

"You have to do your part. If you don’t do your part you’re not going to have any chance," said head coach John Harbaugh.

Even if they do their part, the path to the postseason is anything but simple.

For the Ravens to clinch a wild card playoff spot they need to beat Pittsburgh on Sunday, a Chargers loss to the Raiders, an Indianapolis loss to the Jaguars and a Miami loss or tie against the Patriots.

"There is hope and we are definitely embracing the hope," said defensive end Calais Campbell. "In this football world there is always a chance. I’ve seen crazier things happen."

A big question mark for Sunday’s finale against the rival Steelers is could we see Lamar Jackson return from that ankle sprain? Harbaugh wasn't about to provide any sort of answer on that front. Jackson did not participate in Wednesday's indoor practice, per the team's injury report.

"I don’t have any update and I really don’t see the value in even talking about it at this point in time. It’s really not something I want to put a lot of information out there about anyway."

This could be the final game for longtime cornerback Jimmy Smith. Smith says if he returns for a 12th NFL season it will only be in Baltimore.

"This is home for me. I’ve been here for this long and it just wouldn’t make sense for me to go play a year for some random team."

Then there is the national story all of the football world will be watching. All eyes will be focused on the future hall of fame quarterback on the opposing sideline. Sunday should bring the final game in the career of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

"Great rivalry. Great competitor. Never out of the game. Always trying to make plays to the last second," Smith said about Roethlisberger. "The game is never over with that guy until the last final whistle blows."

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook