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Five reasons why this practice week is important to the Ravens


Five reasons why this practice week is important to the Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- As the Ravens prepare for Tuesday's 1 p.m. workout, here are five reasons why this is an important week of practice for the Ravens:

1. Saturday’s game against the Redskins will be more like the real thing.

Week 3 of the preseason is when the starters get the most reps. We’ll likely see starters like Joe Flacco and Terrell Suggs could play into second half – the most game action they’ll see until Week 1 in Denver. Vets and starters want to play well in Week 3 of the preseason, to carry that feeling into September.

2. It’s getting close to decision-making time.

Rosters need to be trimmed to 75 players by Sept. 1, and to 53 players by Sept. 5.  The Ravens have plenty of tough decisions to make at the back end of their roster, particularly at wide receiver, cornerback, and special teams. That’s why coach John Harbaugh gave plenty of veterans the day off on Monday.

“This was a practice for young guys – guys we felt needed reps, guys that are fighting to make the team, and a special teams emphasis practice,” Harbaugh said.

3. The running back rotation behind Justin Forsett is in flux.

Lorenzo Taliaferro will miss several weeks with a sprained knee, so rookie Buck Allen becomes the No 2 back for now, with Terrence Magee and Fitz Toussaint getting a golden opportunity for more reps.

“The way our practice is set up, everybody gets reps,” said running backs coach Thomas Hammock. “They all have an opportunity to show what they can do, and the great thing is, we’ve got two more games for guys to go out there and prove exactly what type of player they want to be.”

4. Injuries

The closer it gets to the regular season, the more concerning the health of wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) and others becomes. The Ravens want to get more clarity on which players they can depend on in September.

5. The Ravens need work on special teams

They gave up a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown to Kenjon Barner of the Eagles on Saturday night. Meanwhile, the Ravens haven’t decided who will return punts and kickoffs for them. Wide receiver Michael Campanaro is a candidate, but he is injured at the moment. Possibilities for punt returner include Asa Jackson, and DeAndre Carter if he makes the team. Magee will get a look as a kickoff returner. The Ravens know they can use Steve Smith and Lardarius Webb to return punts in certain situations, but they want to see younger players step up.

MORE RAVENS: Taliaferro injury could increase Allen's impact as rookie


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

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.


“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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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.