Ravens' season finale versus. Steelers: John Harbaugh unclear if Lamar Jackson, starters will play.

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is unsure if Lamar Jackson or other starters will play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He discussed it at the outset of his Monday press conference, a day after the Ravens defeated the Miami Dolphins to capture the AFC first seed.

Game results don't affect Baltimore's playoff seeding. Whatever happens, they'll have the top seed and a first-round bye. But it matters for the Steelers and AFC playoffs.

Postseason prospects are slim for the Steelers following Week 17. They can qualify for the wild card with a win over the Ravens and a defeat by the Jaguars or Bills to the Titans or Dolphins. Sunday's result matters for playoff clubs.

This is Baltimore's greatest rivalry game versus the Steelers at home.

Rest vs. rust affects the Ravens. Players will receive the first postseason week off. If Jackson and other starters sit against Pittsburgh, they'll enter the playoffs three weeks after playing competitive football.

This strategy failed when Baltimore was in this situation before. The Ravens rested their starters against the Steelers in their 2019 season finale after clinching the top seed. Two weeks later, they lost 28-12 to the Titans in their playoff opener.

Injury risk always dominates these judgments. None of the other factors matter if Jackson or other important starters get injured in a game that doesn't affect Baltimore's standings. Good issue to have. It's not an easy choice for Harbaugh.

Watch this space for further developments.