|Boldin will miss Baltimore's remaining two games. (Getty Images)|
The Ravens are in the middle of a push for a top AFC seed in the playoffs, but they'll have to play (at least) the final two games of the regular season without top wideout Anquan Boldin, who will undergo surgery for a torn meniscus.
Boldin, per our Ravens Rapid Reporter Jason Butt, will miss the remainder of the regular season, but John Harbaugh expects the wideout to return for the playoffs.
"He will be back for the playoffs, whichever round we have to play in," Harbaugh said. "It will be a little tighter if we have to play in the first round."
If Baltimore wins out, they'll land a bye in the first week of the postseason to go with their AFC North title, by virtue of their head-to-head record against the Steelers. That would give Boldin three weeks to recover from the surgery.
But if the Ravens stumble, Pittsburgh could land the top seed in the AFC and force Baltimore to travel, as well as play a week earlier than they'd like.
The good news is Boldin shouldn't be needed in Week 16, a home matchup against Cleveland. When the Ravens last played the Browns, Ray Rice handled almost all of the offensive production, rushing for 204 yards. Joe Flacco completed just 10 passes in the victory (on 23 attempts) and Boldin caught just two for 32 yards.
It'll be worth watching how rookie wideout Torrey Smith responds to his new role as the top wide receiver target for Flacco, particularly in the more interesting Week 17 matchup against the Bengals. Lee Evans will slide into the No. 2 spot, and Harbaugh said one of his rookies -- LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss -- in the slot.
"You want to get your young guys out there on the field as much as you can," Harbaugh said. "You don’t want to do it before they’re ready to have success and I think those guys are very much ready to have success."
On the year, Boldin leads the Ravens 887 receiving yards and is second on the team with 57 catches (Rice has 71) and three touchdowns (Smith has seven).
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