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Around AFC North: Injuries galore

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Around AFC North: Injuries galore

Injuries continue to be the primary theme in the AFC North as most teams continue to deal with some major setbacks. The Ravens aren't alone, though the Cincinnati Bengals are getting a key piece back:

Steelers: A bad situation got worse as QB Ben Roethlisberger injured the right foot he broke two years ago as he dropped back for a pass Thursday.

Roethlisberger declared it was "fine" after having it looked at, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh won't have safety Troy Polamalu for the fourth consecutive game when they play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman won't play, either. Center Maurkice Pouncey had limited practice but still could play.

Polamalu can empathize with the Ravens, who lost linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb for the season last week. The Steelers are falling apart because of injuries.

"Sometimes, I wonder if it's just us here because it seems as if we deal with it pretty seriously every year," he said. "I obviously am aware of Baltimore's situation, but it seems like we face those type of situations year in and year out."

Bengals: Top rookie draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick, who has been out with a knee injury and tendinitis, could make his debut for vs. the Steelers.

"I’m ready to go,” Kirkpatrick said before Wednesday’s practice, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Body feels good. Just waiting on the man above.”

That "man above" is coach Marvin Lewis.

“I’ve been really impressed with Dre Kirkpatrick in practice,” Lewis said. “More impressed than any time he’s been here; even more impressive than when he was here in rookie minicamp."

The cornerback is preparing for game action.

“I’m going through (the game plan) just like I’m going to be playing,” Kirkpatrick said.

Browns: The receiving corp already depleted, Greg Little missed practice with flu symptoms and running back Trent Richardson's status is sketchy because of a rib injury heading into Sunday's game vs. the Indianapolis Colts.

Coach Pat Shurmur expects Richardson to play with a "flak jacket," according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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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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