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Injured Elam suspended for violating substance-abuse policy

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Injured Elam suspended for violating substance-abuse policy

Ravens safety Matt Elam has been suspended for one game by the NFL for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, the latest misstep for a former first-round draft pick whose career has been a major disappointment.

Elam officially is suspended for Sunday's game against the Chargers, though he is on injured reserve with a torn biceps and was not going to play anyway. But the suspension means he will lose 1/17th of his salary, or about $60,000. Elam is making roughly $1.02 million this year, the third year of his four-year rookie deal.

"We have been aware of this situation for awhile," the Ravens said in a statement. "Matt has been in our building rehabbing his injury on a regular basis, and he will continue to do so."

Elam was injured early in training camp and placed on season-ending injured reserve on Aug. 31. It marked another lost season for the Ravens first-round draft pick in 2013. Elam started 26 games in his first two seasons, but his play was inconsistent. He struggled in coverage and with tackling, and Elam ultimately lost his starting job to Will Hill last season. Elam led the Ravens with 16 missed tackles despite playing only 60 percent of the team's snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. 

During the offseason, general manager Ozzie Newsome publicly called out Elam, declaring at the "State of the Ravens" news conference that ""Matt Elam has to be a better football player for us next year. He has to be."

By all accounts, Elam had come back motivated this summer before the biceps injury derailed his season. This latest slipup won't have any effect on the field, since Elam was out for Sunday's game anyway, but it can't help his status with the organization.

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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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