OWINGS MILLS – With right guard Marshal Yanda and left tackle Ronnie Stanley expected to play Sunday against the Steelers, the Ravens should have their starting offensive line intact for the first time since Week 3.
Does that mean the Ravens’ offensive issues are solved? Not necessarily, but it’s a good place to start.
“In the NFL, it starts up front winning the line of scrimmage,” said Yanda, a five-time Pro Bowler who has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury. “When we do that, we usually have success. When we don’t do that and don’t protect the quarterback, things usually don’t go our way.”
The Ravens have a myriad of things to solve offensively, but consider this. They are 3-0 with Stanley in the lineup, and 0-4 without him. The Ravens drafted Stanley with the sixth pick overall, and when healthy, he has lived up to his billing as solid protector for Joe Flacco’s blindside.
Flacco doesn’t like making excuses, or throwing his teammates under the bus. But with Stanley back, Yanda back, and Alex Smith moving back to left guard, Flacco’s comfort level in the pocket Sunday could lead to him performing better than he has recently.
“It’s just nice to see guys healthy,” Flacco said. “They want to be part of the team and contribute, so it’s nice to have them back out there for sure.”
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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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