The NFL is violent. In the past, the violence was acceptable, even glorified. However, with a generation of former players drawing attention to the long-term effects of head injuries—and the league facing publicized law suits—player safety has become a hot topic.
The greatest area of concern surrounds concussions, and the NFL has introduced multiple measures to keep players with concussions off the field. Now, the attention is focused on helmet-to-helmet hits.
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed was recently suspended for having four helmet-to-helmet hits over the past three years. The fourth, which came against the Pittsburgh Steelers, was far from a vicious hit and occurred in part because receiver Emmanuel Sanders lowered his head. The suspension was overturned, but the NFL's message was clear. Players must adjust their style to avoid helmet-to-helmet hits... or face consequences as severe as suspension.
Terrell Suggs pulled off the impossible when he took the field just five months and two weeks after tearing his Achilles. Now, Ray Lewis, not to be outdone, may make his own remarkable return as soon as week 15.
Lewis suffered a fully torn triceps in the Ravens October 14th victory over the Dallas Cowboys. The injury requires a four month recovery period, but YahooSports Michael Silver reports that Lewis may be targeting a December 16th comeback against the Denver Broncos. If that is the case, Lewis expects to have made a full recovery in half the typical recovery time.
Lewis has long prided himself on his extreme efforts to take care of his body. His off-season workouts border on fanatical, and he follows a strict regimen of eating and sleeping. He is also known in somewhat mythical terms for his ability to impose his will—in game situations and in terms of the length of his career.
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers Game Preview: Where To Watch, Live Streaming, Betting Odds, And Keys To The Game
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
When: Sunday, November 25, 4:15 ET
On TV: CBS, DirecTV 712
On radio: Sirius 127
Live streaming: NFL Audio Pass
Betting odds: Ravens (-1)
The Baltimore Ravens and the San Diego Chargers meet Sunday in San Diego for the second time in two years, and the similar circumstances of the match-up should have the Ravens on their toes. Last year, the Ravens traveled cross-country with a record of 10-3 to face a 6-7 Chargers team that had only recently snapped a six game losing streak. This year, the 8-2 Ravens hope to avoid the shocking trampling the Chargers dealt them last December.
The Chargers are 4-6 and nationally maligned, but they could notch a much-needed victory against a Ravens team that has performed poorly on the road. The Ravens are coming off of a hard fought rivalry game in Pittsburgh last Sunday night, and the offense has yet to display a road performance worthy of praise.
Key match-up: Philip Rivers vs. Ed Reed
Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Game Preview: Where To Watch, Live Streaming, Betting Odds, And Keys To The Game
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Sunday, November 18, 8:20 ET
On TV: NBC
On radio: Sirius XM 93
Live streaming: NFL Audio Pass
Betting odds: Ravens (-3.5)
This Sunday night the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers will square off for the first time this season in what is almost always one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. Heinz Field will be absent some of the faces that have given life to the rivalry, as Ray Lewis, Ben Roethlisberger, and Hines Ward won't be suiting up. The aging Ward was released by the Steelers before the season began, and Lewis and Roethlisberger are out with injuries. Both teams have dealt with major injuries this season, but both each has continued to find success.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh says it's his “favorite week of the year—both of them.” What he's referring to is the two weeks the Ravens prepare to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in what is the fiercest rivalry in the current history of the NFL.
Every year, Baltimore buzz is particularly noisy as fans, media, and the team get ready to take on the black and gold in what is almost always a game that defines the AFC playoff picture. This week, the Ravens plan their trip to visit the Steelers, who are a game behind them in the battle to be atop the AFC North.
“You know it’s a defining type of a rivalry. It means so much to both teams,” Harbaugh said, “So, we like being in this week, we love playing these guys, we love the preparation for these guys.”
Corner back Carey Williams spoke about the upcoming game, saying, ““They don’t like us, we don’t like them. It’s going to be hell out there.”