UPDATE: Sunday, December 30 at 11:45 a.m. ET by Adam Wells
With the Ravens already locking up the AFC North, the team is keeping most of its stars on the sidelines for today's contest with Cincinnati.
According to Luke Jones of WNST.net, Boldin will be one of many big-name players sitting the finale out, as he tries to get healthy for the playoffs next weekend.
#Ravens inactives: LB R. Lewis, LB T. Suggs, DT H. Ngata, WR A. Boldin, G M. Yanda, S B. Pollard, WR T. Doss— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) December 30, 2012
The Ravens will either be the No. 3 or 4 seed in the AFC, depending on what happens in their game and New England's game this afternoon. Either way, they know they are playing next week, so getting as close to full strength for that game is far more important than anything today.
---END OF UPDATE
UPDATE: December 24 at 5:25 p.m. ET by Rob Goldberg
Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com reported that Anquan Boldin's injury is not serious and it should not keep him out long.
He quoted coach Jim Harbaugh in saying, "Anquan has a shoulder bruise. We’ll see how that develops during the course of the week."
Boldin has been a great veteran presence for the offense this season and will be vital as the team tries to make a deep run in the playoffs.
---End of Update---
The Ravens broke the news via Twitter:
#Ravens Injury Update: WR Anquan Boldin (shoulder) is DOUBTFUL to return.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 23, 2012
Boldin had seven catches for 93 yards before exiting Sunday's game. With the Ravens leading the Giants 30-7 at the time of his departure, it wouldn't make much sense for the team to test any injury that seems like it could be serious.
Entering Week 16, Boldin had 58 catches for 828 yards and four touchdowns. He doesn't provide Joe Flacco with the deep presence that Torrey Smith does, but he's a tough-as-nails possession receiver who understands how to find the soft spots in the secondary.
If Boldin can't go, expect LaQuan Williams, Jacoby Jones and Deonte Thompson to receive more looks on the outside. Because of Boldin's role in the offense, it would also make sense for Flacco to give his tight ends more looks underneath the coverage.
Smith is a more exciting player, but Boldin is equally important for Baltimore. Losing him for any period of time would damage a passing attack that has struggled as of late, especially from a leadership standpoint.
The Ravens have some capable options behind Boldin in the rotation, but he's unique to this team. Even though he doesn't bring flashy athleticism to the table, he's a reliable security blanket.
With the playoffs approaching, the Ravens hope this injury isn't serious, but it's hard to tell.
Stay tuned for updates.
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