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Around AFC North: Ravens' foes banged up

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Around AFC North: Ravens' foes banged up

Compared to the rest of the division, the Ravens appear to not only be the best team, but the healthiest:

Steelers: Coach Mike Tomlin said defensive stalwarts, linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu, and running back Rashard Mendenhall all could return to the field Sunday vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.

Polamalu has missed the last two games with a calf injury and Harrison hasn't played this season because of a knee procedure in August. Mendenhall tore a knee ligament on Jan. 1 in the regular season finale.

"Based on what I'm looking at in terms of how they worked ... I think that's a safe assessment," Tomlin said at a news conference. "All the guys have performed well and have been able to get through practice. We're optimistic that they're going to be full participants."

The Steelers' defense is allowing 25 points per game and has generated only one interception and one fumble recovery. The running attack is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry.

Bengals: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who has yet to play this season because of a knee injury, returned to practice this week and there is a chance he could play vs. the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

"I'm coming back on the field but that doesnt mean Im going to be playing," Kirkpatrick said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "This is a process. Were still taking it day by day My legs, they feel healthy. Its just all about the stamina if Im going to withstand the game and the practice."

Also, linebacker Dontay Moch, who hasn't played in the regular season because of a four-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, is back. Moch totaled 3.5 sacks in the preseason. Whether or not he'll be activated against the Dolphins, said the Enquirer, is unclear.

Browns: The receiving corp, already without Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), is in turmoil. Joshua Cribbs' availability for Sunday's game at the New York Giants is in doubt, too.

Cribbs received a concussion after a vicious hit on a return against the Ravens and his helmet flew off and the back of his head smashed against the surface. He didn't play again in that 23-16 loss for Cleveland.

He is undergoing neurological exams Tuesday, according to the Plain Dealer. Compounding depth issues at the position, Travis Benjamin appears to have an injured right knee after he was seen with it bandaged Friday. Coach Pat Shurmur wouldn't confirm that.

Shurmur called all three receivers day-to-day and he might activate Josh Cooper from the practice squad, according to the 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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