There is one major difference between the Ravens’ three-game winning streak and their four-game losing streak: health.
Even when Baltimore was winning, they were still making mistakes, committing penalties, and turning over the ball. The only thing is, they had their playmakers on the field instead of the injury report.
Last year, when the Ravens were healthy for a small portion of the season, they still lost games. They didn’t have the personnel to win games. The secondary was awful, the pass rush was nonexistent, and the receivers could not make plays.
This year has been different. They’ve gotten game-sealing interceptions. Terrell Suggs and Timmy Jernigan have been terrorizing QBs (9 sacks between them). Terrance West has taken control of the run game, and Joe Flacco has had many receivers to throw to (9+ targets with a completion in multiple games this year).
That is of course, until the injury bug hit.
The team leader in interceptions, C.J. Mosley, injured his hamstring during an interception and has been out for two weeks. Flacco’s blind side protector Ronnie Stanley has missed the entire losing streak. All Pro captains Steve Smith Sr. and Marshal Yanda have missed the last two games. Pass rushers Suggs and Elvis Dumervil have missed games in the last two weeks as well.
The common element of these injuries? The Ravens have lost each game these players have missed.
Baltimore is currently 3-4 heading into their Bye Week, and tied for second in the division to the 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers. Now is the time to turn the season around. Along with rest comes better health.
Terrell Suggs, Marshal Yanda, Ronnie Stanley, and Rick Wagner all were spotted on the practice field this week. The Ravens finally have their entire starting offensive line back for the first time since Week Three.
Reports have said that Mosley and Smith Sr. are close to returning to practice as well. With five days of rest, Mosley should be back again soon to continue his best season yet. The front seven is solid without him in the lineup, but great when he’s healthy. The wide receivers lack toughness without Smith Sr. He is the vocal leader the team needs when he is on the field.
Also, former first-round safety Matt Elam has been activated from IR this week, and will be eligible to play against Cleveland on November 10th. Elam has not played in a game since 2014, but is ready to show the Ravens he is not a bust after they declined his 5th-year option this offseason. With the safety depth taking a hit after Kendrick Lewis was put on IR last week, Elam is a perfect fit.
Lardarius Webb has been struggling with his new position at safety this season, and has been dealing with a hamstring issue as of late. If Webb is to miss any significant time, Elam will be a great pair with team-leader Eric Weddle.
The team that finished out the first three games with a victory is finally inching its way back to health. Two important division games follow the Bye, and the Ravens can seize the division lead with victories. The Bye Week couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for a team with that has its back against the wall.
Ravens’ Alex Collins Arrested
Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins was arrested early on Friday morning following a car crash about a mile from the Ravens’ team facility, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
Per the report: Officers responded to a report of a car that had crashed into a tree on the 10000 block of Dolfield Road at about 6:48 a.m. Friday morning, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach said.
Collins, 24, was arrested, however charges were not made public at the time of this writing.
Ravens vice president of public relations Chad Steele told The Baltimore Sun that the team has spoken with law enforcement and is aware of the situation involving Collins.
Collins is coming off a down year with Baltimore after a breakout campaign in 2017. Collins managed only 411 yards rushing in 2018 and was placed on injured reserve back in December, ending his season early.
Ray Rice Says He Is Done With Football
Former NFL running back Ray Rice, who had been working to try and get a second chance in the NFL over the past couple of years, is no longer pursuing a comeback.
“I’ll be the first one to say it; I don’t have to retire to tell you I’m done with football” Rice said, during an interview on CBS This Morning.
“The pressure I was under of being a star, that was the person I hated the most.”
Rice was suspended indefinitely back in 2014 when a video surfaces showing Rice punching his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay Rice while the two were alone in an elevator.
Rice was never picked up by another team following the conclusion of his suspension, and his release from the Baltimore Ravens.
Rice said that he sees “similarities” between his situation and the one of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who was recently cut loose by the team when a video surfaced showing him pushing and kicking a woman in a hallway.
“Somewhere down the line everybody who’s sayin’, ‘Does he deserve a second chance for football?’ And this that and the other— I actually got my second chance” Rice said of Hunt, who cleared waivers and is now a free agent.
“During my darkest moments, and I used to ask myself, ‘How could she even be—want to support me?’ … That’s understandable. But I think what’s misunderstood about us is that the friends we were before the incident. That’s why, like I said, when I look at Kareem Hunt, I wanna know what his life was like. I want to know what happened in life. I know Kareem has apologized, and has expressed remorse for survivors of domestic violence.”
Ravens Trying To Entice Fans With Lower Concession Prices
The Baltimore Ravens are attempting to win back fans and their latest plan is making a big step toward doing just that as the team announced on Tuesday that they will reduce concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium in 2018.
The Ravens have been on a mission to bring back fans who were angered by some players’ national anthem protests coupled with their 3-year playoff drought.
A series of moves have demonstrated their efforts. The team invited fans to ask questions at a media pre-draft news conference held a question-and-answer session with fans at the team facility with owner Steve Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome, and also have had team president Dick Cass meet and talk to fan clubs.
While the team has sold out every game during their 20-year history at M&T Bank Stadium, empty seats grew in numbers as the 2017 season wore on, and the no-shows are very obvious.
The organization is taking this initiative very seriously.
“It’s something I would really like to take a hard look at, and at least, come up with select items that we can do,” Bisciotti said back in February of this year.
“If it means us … I can’t make Aramark do that with me, but I can make them go along as long as it’s my share of the profits that I’m waiving. Yeah, I’d like to take a look at that. I think we could probably do that.”
There is an official news conference scheduled for Thursday where the Ravens will officially announce price reductions on concessions.
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