Four years ago, the Ravens entered their regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers with the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed secured. Coach John Harbaugh didn’t take any chances at quarterback: Lamar Jackson was deactivated, and backup Robert Griffin III got the start.

On Saturday, Harbaugh will follow the same script. He announced Wednesday that Jackson, who’s led the Ravens to the No. 1 seed and is favored to win his second NFL Most Valuable Player award, will not play against the rival Steelers. Harbaugh said it “seemed to be the right thing to do.”

Tyler Huntley will start for the first time this season, and Josh Johnson will back him up.

“I’m cool with it,” said Jackson, who will be among the team’s six inactive players and was limited in practice Wednesday as he rested. “Me and Coach [Harbaugh] talked about it. I felt like it was best suitable to sit me and stuff like that for this round.”

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The 2019 Ravens, even without Jackson, rolled to a 28-10 win over Pittsburgh, but his absence Saturday in Baltimore will be a boost to the Steelers’ playoff hopes. Pittsburgh needs a win and some outside help to secure a wild-card spot. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Steelers were favored by 3.5 points.

Huntley is 3-5 as a starter over his four seasons in Baltimore. His last start came in the Ravens’ AFC wild-card-round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals a year ago, when he nearly outplayed Joe Burrow. A crucial goal-line fumble led to a Bengals defensive touchdown in a 24-17 loss.

This season, Huntley’s 6-for-9 for 57 yards and two touchdowns, with seven carries for 15 yards. Saturday’s game against the Steelers could be an audition for a backup job next season, as Huntley’s set to reach free agency in the offseason. Rookie Malik Cunningham, signed off the New England Patriots’ practice squad last month, could also play.

Injuries could also impact the Ravens’ lineup decisions. Five regular starters — wide receivers Zay Flowers (calf) and Odell Beckham Jr. (rest), right guard Kevin Zeitler (knee/quad), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (calf) and safety Kyle Hamilton (knee) — were missing at practice Wednesday, along with linebacker Malik Harrison (groin), cornerback Ronald Darby (illness) and safety Daryl Worley (shoulder/ankle), who Harbaugh said will miss Saturday’s game.

Cornerback Brandon Stephens, who missed Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins with an ankle injury, returned to practice Wednesday as a limited participant. Defensive back Ar’Darius Washington, who suffered what was feared to be a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 1, was designated to return off injured reserve, meaning he could be activated over the next three weeks. He was limited Wednesday, along with wide receiver Tylan Wallace (knee), inside linebackers Patrick Queen (shoulder) and Del’Shawn Phillips, and cornerback Arthur Maulet (hip).

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Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring.

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