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Battle shaping up for WRs

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Battle shaping up for WRs

The Ravens' top three receivers appear all set. Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith return as starters, and Jacoby Jones has established himself as the No. 3 receiver this team was lacking last season.

After that? It figures to be a battle royale for the final spots, with the Ravens likely to keep five, perhaps six receivers on the final 53-man roster.

There could be some difficult decisions when it comes cutting time.

Baltimore native LaQuan Williams has had a strong camp and appears likely to make the team. Tandon Doss, who played sparingly last season and has been slowed by a hamstring injury this preseason, is listed ahead of Williams on the depth chart (for what that's worth.)Then there are the rookies, undrafted Deonte Thompson, whose raw speed has been on display frequently, and sixth-round pick Tommy Streeter, the 6-foot-5 project out of Miami. Then there's Logan Payne, who at least has limited NFL experience, and rookie Devin Goda, and...you get the idea.

The Ravens' 90-man roster includes a dozen receivers, and it's likely that no more than half will make the final roster.

For those on the bubble, special teams play could be their ticket to the final roster.When asked on Sunday about keeping six receivers, coach John Harbaugh said one determining factor would be special teams play.

"Those guys are going to play important roles on special teams," he said.

Indeed, special teams play probably helped Williams stick with the Ravens last season. He showed some flashes as a return man in preseason, but his main contribution during the season was in coverage. He finished the season with four special teams tackles and forced a fumble on a punt return in the AFC Championship Game at New England.

Special teams drills such as punt coverage aren't the most flashy or exciting. But for these receivers fighting for a spot in the Ravens locker room come Week 1, they just might be the most important.

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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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