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Five things to watch, Ravens vs. Eagles on Saturday night

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Five things to watch, Ravens vs. Eagles on Saturday night

PHILADELPHIA – There wasn’t much to learn watching Friday’s Eagles-Ravens joint practice walkthrough. Players only went half-speed, not wearing pads. But here are five things to watch for during Saturday night’s Ravens-Eagles game in Philadelphia:

 1. How much will the starters play?

 This will be an interesting call for both coaches, and it may be determined by the flow of the game. Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco only played one series in the preseason opener, but he’ll likely get more work Saturday. Eagles starting quarterback Sam Bradford didn’t play in their preseason opener. He’s expected to play against the Ravens, but how long will Eagles coach Chip Kelly expose Bradley to pass rushers like Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs? You may see a lot of Eagles backup quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, and the backup who gets the most attention, Tim Tebow. 

2. Can Ravens on the bubble like linebacker Arthur Brown and receiver Jeremy Butler strengthen their case? 

Brown, a second-round pick in 2013, is a third-string linebacker right now who doesn’t excel on special teams. That may not be enough to make the 53-man roster. With rookie wide receiver Darren Waller’s emergence, Butler’s chance to make the team looks slimmer than it did a few weeks ago.

3. Will the Ravens' kickoff returners get a chance to make plays? 

Touchbacks robbed the returners of a chance to shine against the Saints last week. Both Campanaro and wide receiver DeAndre Carter hope they can return some kickoffs against the Eagles. Special teams may be Carter’s best chance to make the team.

4. What will the Ravens’ offensive line look like?

 Left guard Kelechi Osemele (Achilles) and right tackle Rick Wagner (foot) are not 100 percent, backup lineman Jah Reid (back) is hampered, and backup guard John Urschel (concussion) just returned this week. It may take some shuffling up front for the Ravens to block effectively.

5. Can safety Nick Perry continue his bid to make the 53-man roster?

 Perry is an undrafted rookie from Alabama, but he’s making plays and has placed himself on the coaches’ radar.

“Nick is a typical prodigy of (Alabama coach) Nick Saban,” said Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees. “He is a defensive back who is tough and smart and really does a great job back there. I think he’s going to be one of those free agent guys that are going to have a future in this league.”

 Perry is hoping that future is with the Ravens.

MORE RAVENS: Former Eagles WR Quick very impressed with a Ravens rookie WR

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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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