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Rookie's skills as a returner could fill void for Ravens

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Rookie's skills as a returner could fill void for Ravens

Having skills as a returner could give wide receiver DeAndre Carter a better chance to stick with the Ravens. 

Carter is an undrafted rookie from Sacramento St. hoping to make the roster. His college numbers were certainly impressive. Carter led the Football Championship Subdivision last season with 99 catches for 1,321 receiving yards.

However, Carter’s ticket to the NFL may be his ability to return punts and kicks. The Ravens cut Jacoby Jones, who had been their primary returner for several seasons. Lardarius Webb and Michael Campanaro are candidates to replace Jones. But Webb is a starting cornerback who the Ravens want to protect from injury. Campanaro has already had trouble staying healthy, out until training camp with a quadriceps injury.

That leaves a potential opening for Carter, who had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown at Sacramento St. last season. The biggest knock on Carter as a receiver has been his size (5-foot-8), but that would not stop Carter from being an effective returner if he showed ability in that role.

During OTA’s, Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has already been impressed with Carter as a receiver.

“I like (that) he’s hungry,” Smith said. “I’m biased – he’s a West Coast guy.  I just love his attitude. I see a young (Packers receiver) Randall Cobb in him, but I think he can play inside or outside. I’m excited to watch him play.”

The Ravens have had recent success with undrafted rookies, including wide receiver Marlon Brown and kicker Justin Tucker. Carter is another to keep an eye on.

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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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