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Five ramifications from Ravens' decision to cut Justin Forsett

Five ramifications from Ravens' decision to cut Justin Forsett

On Tuesday morning, the Ravens announced their decision to release veteran running back and fan-favorite Justin Forsett.

The decision came on the heels of the team making him inactive for their Week 4 loss to the Raiders, in which Terrance West had a big performance in the backfield. 

The Ravens’ decision to release Forsett has significant ramifications.

Here are five questions to ask:

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1. The Ravens’ backfield is young, but is it too young?

The Ravens’ top three backs now are Terrance West in his NFL third season, Buck Allen in his second season, and Kenneth Dixon in his rookie season.

Even Lorenzo Taliaferro, still on PUP (foot), is only in his third season. Forsett was the veteran leader among the running backs, both in the meeting rooms and at practice. Without him, the Ravens, must count on their younger backs to be productive and accountable, while accepting their roles.

2. Will West remain the No. 1 back, even after Dixon returns from his knee injury?

Dixon showed potential to be a dynamic player while leading the team in rushing during the preseason. Coming off his 113-yard performance in Week 4, West looks like the No. 1 back for now.  But Dixon returned to practice last week, and if West falters, Dixon could eventually be the guy.

3. Will the Ravens miss Forsett’s pass-blocking?

This is an area in which Forsett excelled, giving him value in passing situations as both a receiver and as a pass protector. Joe Flacco is already getting hit more often than the Ravens like. The Ravens must compensate for losing the running back that was best at picking up blitzes.

4. Can West and the other young backs avoid fumbling?

Another positive with Forsett was that he rarely coughed up the football. West had a fumble against the Raiders, which was recovered by Ravens center Jeremy Zuttah on a superb hustle play. However, there will be more pressure on West, Dixon, and Allen to avoid fumbles, particularly in crucial situations.

5. Is the Ravens’ running-back-by committee system over?

West had 21 carries against the Raiders, while Allen had just three. Running backs thrive on getting carries and establishing a rhythm, and it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that West became more effective as the Raiders game progressed.

Even if the Ravens don’t always start the same running back every week, making sure that the featured back gets at least 15 carries a game may be the best way to go.

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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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