Ravens

Quick Links

Bills G Levitre wonders if time's up in Buffalo

201212270315117109174-p2.jpeg

Bills G Levitre wonders if time's up in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Through rain, snow, heat and losing seasons, whether he's played guard, center or tackle, Andy Levitre has never missed a game - let alone a start - during his four years with the Buffalo Bills

He will make it 64 straight on Sunday, when the Bills close their season against the New York Jets.

What Levitre isn't sure of is whether it will be his final one with Buffalo with his contract set to expire.

``Yeah, I don't know,'' Levitre said Wednesday. ``I don't know if it's going to be here. I don't know if it's going to be somewhere else. But right now, I'm focused on trying to beat the Jets and we'll kind of see where it goes from there.''

The game is meaningless for the Bills (5-10) and Jets (6-9), who are out of playoff contention.

Just don't downplay its importance to Levitre, who's trying to avoid thinking about what it will be like leaving the field once time runs out.

``Every time that gets brought up, I kind of just try to push it away,'' Levitre said. ``Maybe that's something I'll think about on Monday, like, `Wow, maybe that was my last time.'''

Levitre would prefer to continue playing in Buffalo. The trouble is, he's unsure where the Bills stand regarding his future.

Though the team's expressed an interest in re-signing him, Levitre scratches his head in saying the front office has yet to follow through by formally making him any offers.

Safety Jairus Byrd is in the same boat with the 2010 second-round draft pick's contract set to expire. The Bills haven't yet opened contract talks. Byrd is open to re-signing with the team, and has yet to determine whether he will test free agency.

Byrd is having a solid season in leading the team with five interceptions and four forced fumbles.

General manager Buddy Nix has declined to comment, citing the team policy of not discussing the status of contract talks.

Levitre's value has certainly risen in having established himself as one of the franchise's most durable, dependable and versatile offensive linemen.

Though a majority of his starts have come at right guard, he's filled in at tackle and center as a result of injuries.

``He's a guy that we lean on a lot,'' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. ``Andy is a guy that we depend on every Sunday, and a guy that has been extremely reliable throughout his career.''

Coach Chan Gailey refers to Levitre as the team's ``Steady Eddie.''

``He's been solid,'' Gailey said. ``He's been one of the pleasant things on offense as far as consistency goes.''

Levitre is the team's first offensive lineman to start at least 63 games since Ruben Brown enjoyed a 71-game streak from 1999 through 2003.

As for members of Levitre's 2009 draft class, only three other players have started all 63 games: Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, Browns center Alex Mack and Ravens tackle Michael Oher.

Bills center Eric Wood was a first-round pick in 2009 and, by comparison, has made 46 starts while twice finishing seasons on injured reserve.

Wood, who has one year left on his contract, has spent much of the season lobbying Levitre to re-sign with the Bills.

``Obviously, I want him to come back here. We have a great chemistry on the line,'' said Wood, who shares the same agent as Levitre. ``But you know, Andy's done everything he could to maximize his earning power at this point. And after this year, he's going to have to do what's best for him.''

Wood and Levitre have helped bring stability to the Bills line. It's a unit that allowed 23 sacks last year - the third-fewest in Buffalo in a 16-game season. This year, Buffalo's allowed just 30 sacks and has the NFL's sixth-best running attack.

Levitre is proud with what he's helped accomplish with the Bills. And for someone who grew up in Northern California and played at Oregon State, he's come to enjoy living in Buffalo.

The cold winters certainly don't bother him. Levitre joked there are days he'll go out in the snow wearing shorts and sandals.

``I really do want to stay. I think it's great here,'' Levitre said. ``I love the city. The people here are awesome. Great football town. There's nothing more you can ask for except for winning. That's the only thing I can ask for. But we've got to earn that.''

NOTES: The Bills signed TE Derek Buttles to their practice squad and released OT J.B. Shugarts. ... WR Ruvell Martin has been excused for personal reasons for the next few days, but is expected to play Sunday. ... WR Marcus Easley practiced on a limited basis after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

screen_shot_2018-02-16_at_12.59.33_pm.png
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.

MORE RAVENS: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT RAVENS ROUNDUP 3.0

“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.”

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

flacco-bears-usat.png
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.

RELATED: OFFENSIVE FREE AGENTS RAVENS SHOULD BE TARGETING