In the off-season, the Bengals had anticipated a bolstered secondary by the time they opened their season with the Ravens. But when the two meet next Monday, that wont exactly be the case.
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, taken on the first round with the No. 17 overall pick, missed the whole preseason with a leg injury and still may be a few weeks away from returning to the field. Jason Allen, signed as a free agent earlier this year, and fellow corner Adam Jones also missed most of the preseason.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, however, looks on the bright side.
"Their legs are fresh, Lewis told Bengals.com. That's what we want.
"Jason did everything he could do until he couldn't do it anymore because he was wore out because everybody else was out, but he showed enough when he was out there every day for two straight weeks before he got injured. Adam is going to be Adam. He's always going to deal with these kind of things and I think he just has to learn to overcome it. Their legs are going to be fresh, and they'll be ready to run."
With the Ravens new no-huddle offense, the Bengals corners may well need those fresh legs.
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.”
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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