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Tough, not impossible for Aiken to hit 1,000 yards in breakout season


Tough, not impossible for Aiken to hit 1,000 yards in breakout season

It would take a career-best game from wide receiver Kamar Aiken, but he has a chance to reach 1,000 yards receiving this season.

Aiken has 868 receiving yards heading into Sunday’s finale in Cincinnati. That leaves Aiken 132 yards short of 1,000, giving him a personal goal to shoot for against the Bengals.

In Week 15, Aiken had a career-high 128 yards receiving against the Chiefs, so 132 yards is within his range.  A 1,000-yard season would be another satisfying milestone for Aiken, who entered the NFL undrafted in 2011, and who was cut by the Bears and Patriots before finding a home with the Ravens.

Nobody wonders if Aiken is good enough to play in the NFL anymore, but Aiken never wondered. His confidence is one of his attributes, as is his toughness.

“He has been hit in the head more times, probably, than any receiver in the league, and it hasn’t been called, alright?” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “So, he doesn’t get protected. He bounces back up, and he’s back out there, and he shows up the next week. It’s just impressive what he has done this year, and I’m proud of him.”

Aiken will be a restricted free agent after the season, meaning the Ravens will have a chance to match any offer, if they don’t sign him to a long-term deal.  If he returns, Aiken’s emergence as a reliable receiver could become even more important next season, especially if Steve Smith Sr. opts not to retire. Having Smith, Aiken, and Breshad Perriman in the lineup together at wide receiver never happened in 2015, due to Perriman’s knee injury.

As for Sunday, expect Aiken to play through a hand injury suffered a few days ago against the Steelers. He only missed a few plays after it happened, and he did not expect his hand to hamper him Sunday.

“They’re not going to be able to keep me out, unless I’m just unable physically to go out there,” Aiken said. “You never know when you’re going to get another play. I’m going to take advantage of every last one I get.”

MORE RAVENS: Bengals will have incentive Sunday vs. Ravens

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

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.


“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

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.