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Ray Rice: 'I do want to play football again'


Ray Rice: 'I do want to play football again'

Former Ravens running back Ray Rice continues to hold out hope that his NFL career isn't over, even as teams needing running back help continue to look elsewhere.

In a sweeping interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday, Rice discussed the domestic violence incident and infamous elevator video that abruptly ended his Ravens career and whether his NFL career can ever be resuscitated.

Rice acknowledged "the worst decision of my life," and said that he went into a "real dark place" after seeing the elevator video for the first time. He said he is bracing for the time when he must discuss the incident with his daughter, Rayven, who is almost 4, and stressed that he wants her to learn about it from Rice and his wife, rather than from the Internet.

"The moment is gonna come when I have to speak to her ... I would hate for her to type in my name and the first thing that comes up is the video," he said.

"In February, we'll be two years removed from the incident," Rice says at one point, "and it still feels like yesterday."

 As for resuming his playing career, Rice said, "I do want to play football again ... I'm not ready to give up."

"I want to go back and I want to play for my pride, for my daughter to see me hang up the cleats the right way," he added.

Rice said he had hoped he would get a call earlier in the year or during training camp, but that never  happened. And it might not ever again. He is now 28 and almost two full years removed from his last action, a 2013 season in which he had a career-low 3.1 yards a carry.

Although Rice said his agent has had "supportive" conversations with teams, nothing has come of any of it. So Rice sits -- or more accurately works out -- and waits even while realizing that Greg Hardy, with his own domestic violence history, is playing for the Cowboys. Hardy, Rice said, "got a second chance."

It's not there aren't jobs out there; Jonas Gray, Bryce Brown, Kendall Hunter, Pierre Thomas and Montee Ball have all accomplished less than Rice and have been signed recently by teams looking for running back help.  

The Ravens lost Justin Forsett to a season-ending broken arm, though Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had closed the door on Rice returning to the Ravens as a player after he was released.

"As much as I'm hoping for an opportunity as  a second chance to play in the game, I'm thankful for my second chance at life," Rice told Patrick. "I'm not incarcerated, and I have a chance to raise my family and be the man that I'm capable of being."

RELATED: Ray Rice says he went to 'dark place' after seeing surveillance video

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Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

USA Today Sports

Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens cancelled Saturday night's free open practice at M&T Bank Stadium due to a forecast that calls for heavy rain and inclement weather.

There is no official word from the team on whether this practice will be resheduled, but it seems like Sunday may be an option, even though there's rain in the forecast then too.

Ravens fans who were looking to see first-round draft pick and potential future starting quarterback Lamar Jackson will have to wait for another day. His presence at training camp, an inevitable competition with the incumbent, Joe Flacco, and potential two-quarterback packages involving both of them are set to be some of the biggest storylines of Ravens camp this summer.

As a Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson was one of the most dynamic players in college football during his time at Louisville. If he can replicate that kind of performance in the NFL, he will be at plenty more training camp sessions for Ravens fans to watch.


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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

This time last year, running back Alex Collins wasn't a part of the Baltimore Ravens.

After being released by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2017 preseason, the Ravens placed the 23-year-old on their practice squad, and by Week 2, Collins was already making plays.

As the season progressed, Collins found himself as the Ravens' top running back. He finished 2017 as the team's leading rusher with 973 yards while Javorius "Buck" Allen followed behind him with 591 yards.

If the 2018 NFL season began today, Collins would likely be the Ravens' starter, which is quite ironic considering the fate of his 2017 preseason.

"I always go back to where I started and where I am now, and I use that as my motivation," Collins said after Thursday's training camp practice.

"No matter the day, no matter how tired I am, I think to myself, at this time last year, I didn’t know my position, where I was, where I’d end up. So just having that security behind it is definitely my motivation to keep it this way and keep pushing forward and keep trying to get better instead of being complacent.”

Over the course of 15 games, Collins proved he had the strength and speed to make an impact on the team after Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury on the first drive of the Ravens' Week 1 game and Kenneth Dixon sat out the entire season with a torn meniscus. 

While job security is something we all strive for, Collins isn't getting too comfortable with the hierarchy. 

“I don’t want to say necessarily ‘comfortable,’ because when I use that word, it makes me feel like I’m too relaxed and lackadaisical," Collins said.

"I’m more focused. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want the team or our group to get comfortable, because we just want to get better every day. So, in the position I am, it’s a great feeling, but I’m always pushing myself to be better.”

While Collins has set personal goals for himself – like a 1,000-yard season – he is equally as focused on making the Ravens backfield one of the best groups in the National Football League. 

“I expect that," Collins said on being the Ravens' starter.

"I would hope that all the other running backs expect [to be the starter] as well, and that’s what kind of drives our group – when we all know that we have that capability to be the No. 1 guy, and we’re out competing and push each other and try to be the best. No matter who’s out there during the game, you’ll see a productive play out of that person. So, I have that mindset. I want to be the guy. I have that fire in me, and I hope [that is] as well as the other running backs, as I encouraged them as well.”

Collins noted that he's coming into training camp a bit heavier. He added five pounds to his 200-pound frame "just to see how that feels," but is still maintaining the stamina and strength he's always had. 

Collins – who was one of several veterans released from practice early as the team begins to adjust their way into the extended preseason – finished his media availability with a friendly warning to fantasy football owners: "Draft me now before it’s too late, guys."