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Like many NFL coaches, Harbaugh copes with injuries

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Like many NFL coaches, Harbaugh copes with injuries

OWINGS MILLS – The buzz surrounding the Ravens heading into Wednesday’s 1 p.m. practice:

Injuries are a major storyline for the Ravens at the moment, but coach John Harbaugh accepts that as a harsh reality of NFL football.

The Ravens already know that safety Matt Elam (biceps) and defensive end Brent Urban (biceps) will miss most of the season, if not the entire season. Meanwhile, many key players were missing from Tuesday’s practice, among them wide receivers Michael Campanaro (soft tissue injury) and Breshad Perriman (knee), left guard Kelechi Osemele (Achilles), running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee), and cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring).

Teams constantly explore ways to prevent injuries, and the Ravens are no exception. However, if Harbaugh believed there was a practical way to prevent injuries, while still fielding a competitive team, he would already be doing it.

“If there was something you could do, as far as – I’m talking about how a head coach approaches practicing (for) games  - if there was something you could do, if there was some science that told us that this would help with injuries other than the 20 percent on grass versus turf, you would do it,” Harbaugh said recently. “Sometimes, guys get hurt out here in half-speed drills – as we’ve seen before – and sometimes they get hurt in full-speed games. It’s just so unpredictable with the injuries. As a coach, (what) you really have to focus on is making sure your team is good enough, making sure they’re the best they can be and you come out and practice and understand that’s an unfortunate part of the game. That’s really the best you can do right now as a coach.”

The Ravens are hardly alone. A number of prominent NFL players have already suffered serious injuries since the start of training camp, including Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin (knee), Dolphins safety Louis Delmas (knee), Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt (Achilles), Packers receiver Jordy Nelson (knee), Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), Redskins tight ends Niles Paul (dislocated ankle) and Logan Paulsen (severe turf toe), Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (knee), and Bears receiver Kevin White (stress fracture).

The preseason is only half over. But for many players, the 2015 season is already over due to injuries. When the Ravens practice Wednesday, Harbaugh will do what he always does. He’ll hope that every player who starts practice will finish it.

 

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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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