Who will lead the AFC North in rushing in 2016?
The knee-jerk answer is Le’Veon Bell of the Steelers, one of the NFL’s most talented backs. However, Bell’s last two seasons ended with injuries, making his durability a concern.
Last season, Bell’s teammate DeAngelo Williams led the division in rushing with 907 yards, playing well after Bell went down with a knee injury. Here are the five backs from the AFC North that I think have the best chance to lead the division in rushing, in alphabetical order:
Le’Veon Bell, Steelers – Some believe Bell is the best all-around back in football. If he stays healthy, he’s the favorite.
Isaiah Crowell, Browns – If he earns the trust of new coach Hue Jackson, Crowell should earn more touches and improve on last year’s 706 yards rushing.
Justin Forsett, Ravens – The starting job is Forsett’s to lose, and when he was healthy for a full season in 2014, he rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards.
Jeremy Hill, Bengals – Coming off a costly fumble in the Bengals’ most recent playoff loss, Hill would love to bounce back with his best season.
De’Angelo Williams, Steelers – If Bell is sidelined again, Williams is capable of handling the lead back role.
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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.”
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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