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Ravens tight end Mark Andrews: ‘Opting out never really crossed my mind’

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews: ‘Opting out never really crossed my mind’

The Ravens had numerous players on the roster admit that opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic crossed their minds. 

One player who didn’t have such concerns, however, was tight end Mark Andrews. 

Andrews, who has Type 1 diabetes, could be at a greater risk for COVID-19 should he contract it. But Andrews checks his blood sugar levels daily and says he’s on top of taking care of himself.

“I’m a healthy person,” Andrews said Monday on a Zoom call with reporters. “I worked really hard from a very young age of keeping my body in the best shape, keeping tight control of my blood sugar. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing. So at the end of the day, I’m treating myself like a normal person. If I were to get the COVID, and I were to have it, it would interact just like anybody else because I treat myself just like anybody else would. And my numbers are great.”

RELATED: Deion Sanders sounds off players opting out of 2020 season: 'The game goes on without you'

The Ravens had two players opt out for the season — tackle Andre Smith and wide receiver/kick returner De’Anthony Thomas. Andrews, who is 23-years-old, added that the way the Ravens are taking care of the facility in Owings Mills made a difference to him

“Opting out never really crossed my mind,” he said. “Obviously, I think that safety is the most important thing and seeing what the NFLPA and the NFL have come up with, and the system is extremely encouraging. For me, there was never any, ‘I may opt out or I may not play.’ I’ve always been very strong in my beliefs that, one, I’m healthy. I keep my body healthy. And I’m going to do everything necessary to make sure I don’t get COVID.”

Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley said that, while the thought of opting out crossed his mind, he wanted to compete. 

Throughout the NFL, the opt-outs were commonplace amongst offensive and defensive linemen, as people with a BMI of 30 or more face an increased risk for severe symptoms. 

“It definitely crossed my mind, but I’m a person (that) I want to play,” Stanley said. “I’m just a competitive person. It would take a really high-risk to keep me out of the building.”

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Lamar Jackson admits he cried after seeing himself on Madden 21 cover

Lamar Jackson admits he cried after seeing himself on Madden 21 cover

Like most of us, Lamar Jackson grew up playing Madden. He spent his childhood busting big runs with Michael Vick, carving up defenses with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady or dominating on the ground with LaDanian Tomlinson.

Most of us worshipped the players on the Madden cover. For an entire year they popped up on our TV screens as the game loaded, not to mention they were likely the most exciting player to use in that particular season. Jackson is one of the few who can say he's one of them, which is a reality he admitted brought him to tears. 

“They revealed to me the cover early,” Jackson told Steve Smith. “I don’t cry about stuff. I didn’t cry when I won the Heisman, I didn’t cry when I won all the other accolades. But when I seen the cover, I actually shed tears, like, ‘What the? It’s unreal.’”

RELATED: MARQUISE BROWN READY TO TAKE A LEAP IN YEAR TWO

Most players in the past would probably think winning the Heisman is more worthy of tears than being on the Madden cover, but that generation of players didn't grow up with the game as Jackson did.

This isn't to say the Madden cover is a bigger accomplishment than the Heisman trophy, but you can no longer downplay the significance it holds to players dominating the league now. 

When you hear Jackson's response to gracing the cover, it's easy to understand why he was able to shake off an underwhelming Madden rating. Ratings change, but the Madden cover won't. 

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Report: Ravens add Kenjon Barner to crowded running back room

Report: Ravens add Kenjon Barner to crowded running back room

The Ravens running back room has suddenly become a tad more crowded.

Baltimore has reportedly signed seven-year veteran Kenjon Barner, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The addition of Barner likely has little to do with Baltimore's plan on offense, as Mark Ingram and rookie J.K. Dobbins are expected to carry the bulk of the Ravens' rushing attack.

Barner, a former star at the University of Oregon, spent the past year with the Atlanta Falcons as the team's primary returner. For Baltimore, bringing in a guy like Barner makes sense, as one of the team's primary return men from a year ago, De'Anthony Thomas, decided to opt-out of the 2020 season.

The signing of Barner is a low-risk, high-reward one for Baltimore. Rookie James Proche is also expected to be in the mix in the return game.

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