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Spitting Mad: Marshall Yanda wants you to know he didn't spit on Vontaze Burfict

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USA TODAY Sports

Spitting Mad: Marshall Yanda wants you to know he didn't spit on Vontaze Burfict

Guard Marshal Yanda took to the podium during the Ravens' media availability Wednesday to defend himself. Something he hasn't had to do in his 12 years in the NFL.

After Sunday's 24-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, a video on Twitter began making its rounds spurring debate on whether Yanda spit on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

The six-time Pro Bowler strongly denies the accusations. 

"Obviously, I was accused of spitting on a player. You know, I take a lot of pride in my character and how I was raised and the things that I do day in and day out," Yanda said.

"I would never, ever spit on another man, another person, individual ever. On the field, off the field, never. I mean, that's not that way I was raised. That's not the way I raise my kids."

In the fourth quarter, Burfict tackled running back Alex Collins and a small scuffled ensued. In the video, you see Yanda standing over Burfict with spit hanging from him. Yanda pushes the spit away and players from both sides continue on with the next play. 

"The video shows, I mean some people are taking it crazy, but all I was doing was wiping the spit off my helmet, away from the ground. And I swiped at it to make sure it didn't land on anybody."

Yanda's head coach John Harbaugh and even current and former teammates came to his defense.

"This guy has been playing for how many years? [Twelve] years," Harbaugh said Monday. "He played at the University of Iowa. Have you ever – for whoever wrote the article that makes the insinuation – have you ever heard of Marshal Yanda’s character being attacked or him doing something along those lines ever in his whole career?"

From watching the video, it's obvious Yanda did not spit on anyone. In a game that's filled with large men with adrenaline pumping through their veins, you would think a fight of some sort would have erupted if he did in fact spit on Burfict. 

The linebacker, who has a history of starting fights, hasn't even commented on the incident. 

The accusation alone  is extremely hurtful to the Yanda. 

"I don’t know if you guys know, but during the course of a game, I’m like a heavy spitter," Yanda said. "The adrenaline is fired up and I’m spitting all the time – sidelines, on the field, obviously not on anyone, ever – but it’s unfortunate that got twisted and my integrity and then my character is being called into question because that really does matter to me.”

There's been no word on if the league will fine Yanda. The guard said he would deal with that if he has to.

"This is my 12th year in the league," Yanda added. "If I was a man of that character, that would have come out by now, right? Like if I was that type of guy. It was frustrating to have to deal with that. I mean that made national media attention. I'm up here talking about it right now, which I shouldn't have to be but that's just the world that we live in. It is what it is, but yeah, it's frustrating.”

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Jets running back Le'Veon Bell doesn't regret bowling while sick

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell doesn't regret bowling while sick

As the New York Jets visit the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night for their matchup, the Jets are dealing with some controversy surrounding running back Le'Veon Bell. 

Bell, who missed New York's game against Miami on Sunday with the flu, was seen bowling the night before and has since found himself in the middle of discussions about "distractions" and bad public "optics".

Before Sunday's game, Bell's flu forced him to miss two practices and Saturday's walk-through. He was ruled as too sick to play Saturday at 5 p.m., only hours before he was spotted bowling in New Jersey. The next day Bell watched the Jets-Dolphins game from a private box in MetLife Stadium.

The team was unaware of the controversy until late Monday when head coach Adam Gase heard about the running back's outing. 

On Tuesday, Gase said Bell's late-night bowling excursion was a bad look for the team since he was too sick to play. But Bell spoke out later Tuesday, explaining he has no regret for going bowling, only for being spotted in public. 

"I didn't break any rules," Bell said, "and I wasn't a distraction until now that you all see me bowling, so that's it."

Bell explained that he understands how, from a certain perspective, bowling while he is too sick to play can look bad, but that he does not see anything wrong with it.

"I could see, from the outside of it, if I was playing Sunday and they see me bowling [it would look bad]," Bell said.

While Bell is surprised his bowling turned into a "big thing," he's more surprised that he bowled a career-high 251 while recovering from the flu.

Whether Bell's controversy impacts the team or not, the Jets will have a tough opponent to face with, or without, their running back as they face the Ravens on Thursday. The Ravens are seeking their 10th consecutive win and the AFC North title.

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Hayden Hurst sending signed jersey to fan he headbutted in TD celebration

Hayden Hurst sending signed jersey to fan he headbutted in TD celebration

Ravens tight end and self-proclaimed #HockeyGuy Hayden Hurst is spreading the holiday cheer as he makes amends for a celebration injury he caused a fan in the stands.

Over Week 14 in Buffalo, Hurst caught a 61-yard toss from QB Lamar Jackson and rushed in to the end zone for his second touchdown of the season. With excitement, Hurst leaped in to the stands to celebrate with fans. In the process, there was some helmet-to-head contact.

Shortly thereafter, Hurst found this tweet that was sent out after the Ravens beat the Bills:

Thanks to social media, a connection was made, and the lucky fan with not only get his gloves but a signed jersey as well.

With warning to future fans down front, Hurst has well established that he is, indeed, a Hockey Guy and will continue to "crash the boards" aka leap in to the stands. 

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