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Upon further review: Smith injury latest Ravens' obstacle


Upon further review: Smith injury latest Ravens' obstacle

It has been that kind of year for the Ravens, one challenge after another.

Knowing they will play the second half of the season without Steve Smith is the latest kick in the stomach for the Ravens. Nobody in the locker room was trying to pretend that losing Smith wasn’t a major blow following Sunday’s victory over the Chargers.

Smith is more than just the Ravens’ leading receiver. He is a leader – period. He practices hard, plays hard, leads with his actions, and leads with his words.

Smith and linebacker Terrell Suggs have side-by-side lockers at the Ravens’ practice facility. It’s going to be eerie for players, walking into that room and not seeing, or hearing either Smith or Suggs – both lost to season-ending Achilles injuries.

The bye comes at a good time for the Ravens (2-6), giving them extra time to exhale before their Nov. 15 home game against the Jaguars. Kamar Aiken is now the No. 1 receiver on the Ravens’ depth chart. While he won’t be hearing Smith’s voice at practice, Aiken is vowing to remember his words.

“He’s always told us to keep pushing,” said Aiken. “That’s what he’s embedded in our heads. Even though he wasn’t around us at the end (Sunday), we feel like he was with us. A little bit of him is in every one of us.”

Smith’s presence transcends the offensive side of the ball. Ravens defenders feed off the intensity Smith brings to practice, and admire his toughness.


“Steve is the toughest person I know,” said defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. “He’s the toughest person I’ve ever seen in my life. The dude’s tough as nails. I just pray everything works out for him. We’re definitely going to keep fighting for him until he gets back.”

But that’s another thing. Will Smith ever come back? He is 36 old. He had already said that 2015 would his last season. If he decides to keep playing, rehabbing is going to be a long challenging road, one that Smith will surely attack head-on if he decides to come back.

Smith’s future will be revealed whenever he makes a decision. But for the Ravens, losing Smith will be another test of resiliency, in a season that has been full of tests.

“It’s very disheartening to be honest with you,” said cornerback Jimmy Smith. “He’s a big-time leader on our team – just the way he competes and plays. His presence alone is huge for us. To see him go down, one of our top warriors, it’s a big deal but we haven’t caught any breaks all year. This is another one, so we have got to rally.”

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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

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.