Six teams still vying for byes
Six teams are still fighting for three important spots to ease their path to the Super Bowl.
While 10 teams have clinched playoff spots entering Week 17, only the Ravens (13-2) have earned a first-round bye. The Ravens secured the AFC’s No. 1 seed for the first time in franchise history.
The Patriots (12-3) and Chiefs (11-4) are battling for the No. 2 spot.
In the NFC, the top two seeds are still up for grabs. The 49ers (12-3), Packers (12-3), Saints (12-3) and Seahawks (11-4) each have a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
No team has reached the Super Bowl without a first-round bye since the 2012 Ravens. Eighteen of the last 25 Super Bowl champions have been either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
The 2010 Packers were the last wild-card team to advance to the Super Bowl.
Over the last 25 years, 39 of the 50 teams that played in the Super Bowl were either a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed. There were 13 No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds, six No. 4 seeds, one No. 5 seed and two No. 6 seeds.
Ingram ‘pretty sure’ he’ll be ready: Ravens running back Mark Ingram II said he’s “pretty sure” he will play in the team’s divisional round playoff game in two weeks after suffering what coach John Harbaugh categorized as a “mildto-moderate” calf strain.
Ingram suffered the non-contact injury during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 31-15 win over the Browns. He didn’t return to the game and left the stadium in a walking boot.
“I’m smooth. I’m good, so I’ll be ready for the first playoff game,” Ingram said Thursday, speaking to reporters for the first time since the injury. “I have confidence I’ll be ready to go for that first playoff game.”
Harbaugh announced Monday that Ingram, as well as quarterback Lamar Jackson and additional starters, won’t dress for the regular-season finale against the Steelers.
Ingram said he was worried the injury may have been more severe than it ended up being after he heard “a little pop” and fell to the ground.
“I didn’t have any indicators today, I was feeling good today,” Ingram said. “For that to happen randomly on a step that I’ve taken 8 million times, it was kind of nerve-wracking.
“It just felt like somebody kicked me or hit me in the back of my calf. I didn’t know if Lamar had cleated me when he ran by, but he didn’t. I just felt like somebody kind of popped a balloon in my calf. You hear about that feeling a lot of times when guys do more serious stuff, so I’m just happy it wasn’t serious like that.”
Raiders’ Jacobs undergoes surgery: Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs underwent a minor surgical procedure on his left leg Christmas night, but the team still hopes he’ll be able to play Sunday against the Broncos in Denver.
Jacobs delivered the surprising news in his Instagram story Wednesday night, including a video of him being wheeled out of surgery.
“This was random. I didn’t plan on even being here. Surgery went great. Fastest surgery ever,” Jacobs wrote.
Jacobs’ surgery was to deal with an infection, not the result of an injury, the Raiders confirmed in a statement they released Thursday morning.
“Josh Jacobs woke up with discomfort in his leg on Wednesday and he was evaluated and treated for a superficial skin infection,” the Raiders said.
Jacobs wasn’t on the field practicing Thursday during the media viewing window.
Even without the news of Jacobs’ infection, there was some concern whether he’d be able to play in the Raiders’ regular-season finale. However, NFL Network reported the Raiders are still hoping Jacobs can play Sunday as they try to clinch a playoff berth. Jacobs has missed two of the last three games due to the effects of a fractured shoulder.
Jacobs smashed the Raiders’ all-time rookie rushing record this season with 1,150 yards.
QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers enter Week 17 with a shot at securing a first-round bye in the playoffs.