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AFC North: Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell reportedly facing four-game suspension

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AFC North: Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell reportedly facing four-game suspension

Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell is in trouble, again, and it could cost him significant playing time.

Bell is facing a four-game suspension from the NFL for missing a drug test, Dan Graziano of ESPN reported Friday.

The report said that Bell was appealing the suspension, but that no date had been set.

Unless Bell’s suspension is overturned, he will miss the first four games of the season. That impacts the Redskins, who open the season hosting the Steelers in Week 1. The Steelers host the Bengals in Week 2, visit the Eagles in Week 3, and host the Chiefs in Week 4.

The Ravens don’t see the Steelers until Week 9 (Nov. 6), and they visit Pittsburgh on Christmas in Week 16.  If Bell’s suspension holds up, the Steelers will hope running back DeAngelo Williams picks up the slack as well as he did last year, when Bell missed most of the season with a knee injury. Williams rushed for 907 yards last season, averaged 4.5 yards per carry, and helped the Steelers make the playoffs.

However, the bigger issue is whether Bell can return to the form he had in 2014, when he had 1,361 yards rushing. Bell is one of the league’s best all-round backs, but he can’t seem to stay healthy, nor can he seem to stay out of trouble. Bell missed the first two games of last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Not having Bell for the first four games of the season was definitely not in the Steelers’ plans. And his expected absence will make it more difficult for the Steelers to get off to a fast start.

RELATED: CAN LE'VEON BELL STAY HEALTHY IN 2016?

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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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