Sunday’s Ravens-Bengals regular-season finale will still have playoff implications for the Bengals.
The Bengals will have reason to play their starters, after losing an entertaining Monday Night Football encounter to the Broncos, 20-17, in overtime. Monday night’s game ended suddenly on the Bengals’ first possession of overtime, when quarterback A. J. McCarron fumbled a snap that was recovered by Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
While the Bengals (11-4) have already won the AFC North and have clinched a playoff berth, they have not clinched a first-round bye. The Bengals are currently the third seed in the AFC behind the Patriots (12-3) and the Broncos (11-4). The Bengals can only jump to the No. 2 seed and secure a bye if they beat the Ravens (5-10), and if the Broncos lose at home to the Chargers (4-11).
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Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton (fractured right thumb) is reportedly a few weeks away from returning, so he is not expected to play Sunday against the Ravens (5-10).
If the Bengals can secure a bye, it would give Dalton an extra week to try and get back for their playoff opener. So the Bengals should be focused on Sunday. But the Ravens are coming off an upset win against the Steelers, and would love to upset the Bengals, who have beaten the Ravens four straight times.
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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