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Five reactions to Ravens mounting injuries at wide receiver

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Five reactions to Ravens mounting injuries at wide receiver

Five reactions to Steve Smith’s injury, Michael Campanaro’s injury, and Ravens trading for Chris Givens:

1.      Injuries at wide receiver are threatening to ruin the Ravens’ season.

Smith has been the Ravens’ best receiver by far. Even if Smith manages to play through the pain of four broken bones in his back, can you expect him to be 100 percent? The Ravens also lost a valuable playmaker in Campanaro, who scored on a nine-yard reverse Thursday night, and who was starting to look he would contribute regularly. Givens has never blossomed into the receiver the Rams thought he would. Now he’s joining a new offense, which will take time to adjust. And we still don’t know when rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman will return from his knee injury. Last season, multiple injuries at cornerback doomed the Ravens. This year, wide receiver could be the position that dooms them.

2.      We’ll find out plenty about receivers Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, and Darren Waller.

The Ravens need these guys more than ever. If they make plays, they’ll get plenty of opportunities. If they don’t, the offense will suffer.

3.      Joe Flacco needs to play lights out for the Ravens to have any playoff chance.

Top quarterbacks make wide receivers look better. Flacco’s playmakers are dropping like flies, but his job is to make the most of what he has. More than ever, the Ravens will only go as far as Flacco  leads them.

4.      Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman must adjust.

The passing game may have to rely less on Smith and wide receivers, and more on tight ends and running backs. Look for more throws to running backs like Justin Forsett, and the Ravens three tight ends – Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, and Nick Boyle.

5.      The urgency for the Ravens’ running game to click is greater.

Thursday night in Pittsburgh was a start, with Forsett running for 150 yards, and the line providing gaping holes. To win, the Ravens will need a consistent running attack to relive pressure on Flacco and the wide receivers.

[RELATED: Ravens' top draft pick undergoes knee surgery]

 

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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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