Six teams still vy­ing for byes

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS FRIDAY -

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.

DY­LAN BUELL/GETTY

QB Aaron Rodgers and the Pack­ers en­ter Week 17 with a shot at se­cur­ing a first-round bye in the play­offs.

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