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AFC North: Steelers stick by suspended WR Bryant

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AFC North: Steelers stick by suspended WR Bryant

The future of Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant is uncertain, but general manager Kevin Colbert says the team plans to stick by Bryant during his one-year suspension. Colbert said releasing Bryant was never considered after his suspension for violating the NFL’s substance policy. It was Bryant’s second suspension in eight months. Bryant seemed poised for a breakout season before his suspension, after catching 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns last season.

“We have to prepare for what we have to do without him in 2016,” Colbert told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Sunday from the NFL meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “After all that is taken care of, we will revisit it, but as of right now, as (Steelers president) Art (Rooney II) said, we support him, but in all honesty, what happens is totally up to him.”

Bryant still has two years remaining on his contract, and can apply for reinstatement in January of 2017.  Bryant’s $600,000 salary for next season will be credited to the Steelers’ salary cap.

Without Bryant, Sammie Coates could play a bigger role in the Steelers’ offense next season, joining Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, and Darius Heyward-Bey at wide receiver. The Steelers may also add a wide receiver in the draft, and they have done well drafting at that position.

With Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams at running back, and newly-acquired Ladarius Green at tight end, Colbert still believes the Steelers’ offense can be prolific.

“We feel good about Sammie Coates and his development,” Colbert said. “Unfortunately, Martavis won’t be a part of the team in 2016, but Sammie Coates will be.”

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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