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Five players to watch in St. Louis

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Five players to watch in St. Louis

The Ravens playtheir final preseason game at St. Louis Thursday night, which represents onefinal chance for players on the bubble to prove they belong on the roster.They will gettheir chance, too. Unlike the third preseason game against Jacksonville, inwhich the starters played into the second half, starters will play little if atall at St. Louis. That will give backups every opportunity to audition forRavens coaches and front office personnel before the final 53-man roster mustbe set Friday by 9 p.m.
"Were goingto try to win the game, but were going to try to get as many reps as we canfor the guys that were trying to determine their future," coach JohnHarbaugh said after practice on Monday. "These guys work too hard out hereto not give them every opportunity out there in a game situation to prove whatthey can do. This is their dream."Here are fiveplayers who are very much under the microscope on Thursday in St. Louis. Theircareer as a Raven could depend on how they play in that game:DAMIEN BERRYBerry spent lastseason on the practice squad and was mentioned in the offseason as a possiblesuccessor to Ricky Williams as the No. 2 running back. But it would appearBerry, 23, has been passed by a pair of rookies -- Bernard Pierce and BobbyRainey -- for that role. Berry has carried 17 times for 70 yards (4.1 avg.)this preseason, highest among Ravens running backs, and also has seven catchesfor 71 yards. Berry also serves on special teams, which would be his ticketonto the roster at this point. JUSTIN BORENOffensivecoordinator Cam Cameron said earlier this week that "you need at leastthree guys that can play center," and among the locks to make the team onthe offensive line, there are only two -- Matt Birk and Gino Gradkowski. Boren,24, can as well. Boren, a member of the practice squad last season, can playeither guard or center, but so can veteran Tony Wragge. If the Ravens indeedkeep three guys that can play center, Boren and Wragge could be in the battlefor the final roster spot among the linemen. Bonus trivia: Boren began hiscollegiate career at Michigan, then transferred to Ohio State, becoming justthe third player to play for both schools in that rivalry.OMAR BROWNThe undraftedsafety from Marshall has shown a knack for the ball this preseason, recordingfour turnovers -- three fumble recoveries and an interception -- and recoveringa Ravens onside kick. Once considered a long-shot to make the team, his oddsjumped considerably with injuries to safeties Emanuel Cook (broken leg) andSean Considine (concussions). With starters Ed Reed and Bernard Pollardbasically sitting this game out, Brown,24, should get every chance to show hebelongs.
NIGEL CARRThe rookie fromAlabama State (after leaving Florida State) could be fighting for the finallinebacker slot, along with Sergio Kindle and Chavis Williams. Carr leads theRavens this preseason with 12 tackles, but also has been hurt by penalties,including a holding penalty that nullified a punt return touchdown by AsaJackson. Still, he's an athletic, physical presence that, with one more strong effort on defenseas well as special teams, might squeeze onto the roster.
SERGIO KINDLEThe outsidelinebacker is, quite simply, running out of time. Kindle, 24, has yet todeliver on the potential that made him the Ravens' first pick in the 2010 draft(second round), and the window of opportunity might be closing. Kindle, whomissed his entire rookie season with a fractured skull after falling down somesteps, has benefited from a full off-season for the first time, but also hasbeen slowed this camp by a shoulder stinger. The Ravens had hoped he would stepup and help replace the injured Terrell Suggs, but it hasn't happened yet.

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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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