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Forsett working to help combat Flint water crisis

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Forsett working to help combat Flint water crisis

Ravens running back Justin Forsett is doing tangible work to help alleviate the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Forsett launched a company in 2009, ShowerPill, which produces antibacterial body wipes. So Forsett partnered with his company, the United Way, and close to 20 NFL players to have $100,000 worth of body wipes and water delivered to Flint.

It has become a hands-on project for Forsett, who will be in Flint on Tuesday. His college roommate, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, is planning to join Forsett, as is Forsett’s former Ravens teammate, 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith.

Forsett wants to hear from people in Flint so he can learn what else can be done. Meanwhile, the mother of Saints running back Mark Ingram, a Flint native, is overseeing the delivery of wipes and water to families.

When Forsett heard about Flint’s plight on the news, he was moved to do something.

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"I started hearing about the color of the water, how people were bathing with bottled water and wet wipes, kids with lead in their bodies,” Forsett wrote on this personal blog at sportsblog.com

“We are not trying to put just a Band-Aid on the situation, but are looking to make a real impact and hopefully work on long-term solutions. One thing I learned from interacting with those involved with the Baltimore riots is that people just want to be heard. When we spoke to the kids there, so many of them said they felt like they didn’t have a voice and that nobody cared about them.

“Whether it’s in Flint or Baltimore or wherever, we are blessed with this opportunity for a little bit of time. It’s up to us to use it in the right way so we can have a positive effect on the world around us.”

Forsett would love to be playing in Super Bowl 50, but views the work he’s doing in Flint as extremely important.

“Truth is, 30 years from now, we probably won’t remember (much) of what happens this coming Super Bowl weekend (other than maybe the winner),” Forsett wrote. “But the things that last are relationships and the impact you make on people’s lives. So while we are having fun and celebrating Super Bowl weekend, it’s important to remember the responsibility that comes along with the blessing of playing in the NFL.”

It’s not hard to figure out why Forsett is one of the most respected people in the Ravens’ organization.

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Joe Flacco's status for Sunday's game vs. Bengals 'up in the air'

Joe Flacco's status for Sunday's game vs. Bengals 'up in the air'

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Carrying a three-game losing streak and a losing record, the Baltimore Ravens now face the burden of uncertainty at the quarterback position.

Joe Flacco is nursing a hip injury that could keep him out of Sunday's game against Cincinnati, an AFC North matchup that carries huge ramifications for the sagging Ravens.

With Baltimore coming off a bye, Flacco received an additional week of rest and treatment after sustaining the injury on Nov. 4 in the opening minutes of a 23-16 loss to Pittsburgh.

Flacco went the distance, completed 23 of 37 passes for 206 yards. His status this week, however, is unclear.

"He's getting treatment, just like all the guys are getting treatment, and we'll see," coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "I'd say that we'll know more as the week goes on and I'm hopeful all our guys play, including Joe."

If Flacco can't play, rookie Lamar Jackson will likely get his first NFL start, although veteran Robert Griffin III is also an option. Griffin gets the nod in NFL experience, but he's been inactive in every game this season while Jackson has been used periodically because of his ability to run.

"It's up in the air. We're not worried about it," Harbaugh insisted. "We're blessed with a good quarterback room. It's a good thing, that's a positive thing. We've got three guys who can play. It's just like any other position in my mind. You go with the next guy and you roll."

The Ravens (4-5) reached their bye week with losses to New Orleans, Carolina and Pittsburgh. The skid ruined a decent start and left the team in recovery mode as it seeks to snap a run of three straight seasons without reaching the playoffs.

This is the 11th season that Harbaugh and Flacco have been together in Baltimore, and the coach would love to see his quarterback rally the Ravens into the postseason.

"Any direction we decide to go or we're forced to go, it will be based on the health of Joe. If Joe can play, he'll play," Harbaugh said. "He's rehabbing to play. Joe does not have to practice to play. He's practiced the whole season, he's practiced for 11 years. But he might practice. We just have to see how it goes."

The 33-year-old Flacco has played through many an injury throughout his career. He did so against the Steelers. His teammates feel that if he can walk, he will play.

"Joe is one of the toughest guys I've played with, maybe the toughest guy," guard Marshal Yanda said. "You never see him limping around, you never see him on the field showing any sign of weakness. He's just been a rock for us. I have nothing but respect for the guy."

Tackles Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and James Hurst (back) did not play against the Steelers, but both are expected to return Sunday when the Ravens begin a stretch -- with or without Flacco -- that will define their season.

"We're in the hunt," Harbaugh said. "We'll write the story of the Ravens' 2018 season by how we play in the next seven weeks. That's what our guys are juiced up for. Get the Cincinnati Bengals in as fast as we can, and let's go play the game.

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Despite 4-5 record, Ravens just one game out of final AFC playoff spot

Despite 4-5 record, Ravens just one game out of final AFC playoff spot

Their record and performance over the last month may not show it, but the Baltimore Ravens are just one game out of the No. 6 playoff spot in the AFC.

The Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), Los Angeles Chargers (7-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2), New England Patriots (7-3), Houston Texans (6-3), Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), Tennessee Titans (5-4) and the Miami Dolphins (5-5) all rank above the Ravens. But a win Sunday against the Bengals would push the Ravens to the No. 6 spot as they own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Titans.

Beside remaining in playoff contention, a win Sunday is crucial considering head coach John Harbaugh's job is in question with his team sitting at 4-5, quarterback Joe Flacco is reportedly dealing with a hip injury and the possibility of rookie Lamar Jackson getting his first NFL start. 

After getting blown out 51-14 by the Saints, the Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday. Cincinnati's defense ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed (313.3) and total yards allowed (454.6). A rested Ravens team will have to take advantage of the first team in the Super Bowl era to surrender 500 yards in three straight games as they are among five teams within one game of the final wildcard spot. 

Getting shutout by the Bengals this season would give Andy Dalton and co. a two-game lead over the Ravens as well as possessing the tiebreaker. 

According to the New York Times' NFL Playoff Simulator, the Ravens have a 27% chance of making the playoffs heading into Week 11 with their remaining strength of schedule ranking at No. 27. 

After hosting the Bengals on Sunday, the Ravens host the Oakland Raiders (1-7), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) and Cleveland Browns (3-6), but have tough road games against the Atlanta Falcons (4-5), Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) and Los Angeles Chargers (7-2). 

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