Did Ray Rice have to take regular injections in 2013 during his final season with the Ravens, just to play through the pain of a hip injury?
That’s the word according to NBC analyst Rodney Harrison, who said he spoke with Rice this week. As discussion about Rice possibly rejoining the NFL continues to swirl, Harrison said Rice is being unfairly criticized for averaging just 3.1 yards per carry in 2013.
“He told me he had a hip flexor…a tear in his hip flexor, and every week he would have to take shots and get shot up to go out there and play,” said Harrison, speaking Tuesday on Pro Football Talk on NBCSN. “He said at that point he was making $8 million for the season, and he could have rested and chilled out and made eight million bucks, but he went out there.
“(When he was) getting in and out of cars, he had to grab his leg to help himself. That’s the one thing that’s really not being said. Everyone thinks that Ray Rice can’t play. But you also get a guy that’s experienced, a guy that’s been in the playoffs basically every season he’s been in the league except one. He’s been to multiple Pro Bowls and he’s a Super Bowl winner, so why wouldn’t you want a guy like that in your locker room?”
Whether Rice gets a second chance or not continues to be a hot topic. Browns head coach Mike Pettine admitted his team has discussed signing Rice, but has decided against it for the time being.
Rice knows if he sits out another season at age 28, his NFL career could be over. He played through pain in 2013; however, seeing his career end prematurely would hurt even worse.
MORE RAVENS: News and notes from Tuesday's practice: Taliaferro ready to compete
Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including how quarterback Lamar Jackson has fared during OTAs.
1. Following a January surgery on his left ankle, safety Tony Jefferson remains sidelined after the first week of OTAs. Originally, Jefferson was expected to return 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, now that it's 5 months later, his return timetable is becoming more and more concerning.
2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with Ravens media Thursday about his progress not only learning the new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, but learning the names of his new teammates as well. After another day of OTAs, Jackson was his biggest critic despite a solid day of running plays namely passing drills. “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said to Ravens media. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.”
July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.
The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.
Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.
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Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.
The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.
“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”
Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.
“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”
Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.
The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.
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