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Forward progress...


Forward progress...

The preseason schedule is the ultimate test for players on the NFL roster bubble.

It's true that coaches evaluate players constantly, through training camp drills, weight room work ethic and film study. And players spend far more time at practice than they do at games. But it is performance in games, against other NFL players and "when the lights come on," as coaches like to say, that help dictate whether these players have what it takes to compete in the NFL.

With that in mind, here are six players who either helped or hurt their stock in the Ravens' 27-12 preseason loss to Detroit at M&T Bank Stadium on Friday night.

Granted, some veterans also shined and looked poorly at times. But here the focus is on those players lower on the depth chart, looking to make an impression and earn a spot on the roster.

Trending up:

RB Bernard Pierce -- The rookie got his first game action, and while his stat line did not impress -- four carries for 1 net yard -- he showed some quickness and power. He had runs of 2, 6, 7 and minus-14 yards, and had a 10-yard reception brought back by penalty. Still working back from a hamstring injury, he put himself right back in the conversation for the job as Ray Rice's backup.

CB Asa Jackson -- Jackson had the highlight film play of the game, a zig-zagging 85-yard punt return touchdown, though it was nullified by a holding penalty during the return. Jackson also laid a tremendous hit while playing cornerback and finished with three tackles, including one on special teams.

K Justin Tucker -- Tucker continues to do just about everything possible to win the kicking job, though it still might not be enough. Tucker was 2-for-2 last night, hitting from 50 and 45 yards, and executed a perfect onside kick that was recovered by the Ravens in the closing minutes. If Billy Cundiff holds on to the kicking job, it won't be because Tucker lost it.

Trending down:

RB Anthony Allen -- The second-year running back seems to be losing ground in the battle to be Ray Rice's backup. Allen had one carry for minus-2 yards last night and also missed a key block in pass protection for the second week in a row.

S Emanuel Cook -- Cook got a lot of action at backup safety last night, and finished with four tackles. But he whiffed on a tackle of Titus Young at the 5-yard line, allowing Young to waltz in with the Lions' second touchdown. Cook certainly wasn't the only member of the Ravens secondary who struggled, but when fighting for a spot, tackles need to be made.

WR Tommy Streeter -- The Ravens' rookie had a potential touchdown grab there for the taking late in the game, but the ball slipped through his arms at the Lions' 5-yard line in the final two minutes. The receiver has the size and speed to be a factor, but needs to make catches like this to earn a spot in a deep, crowded receiver group.

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

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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.