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  • 25 June 2019
    OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- As the Baltimore Ravens grind through another training camp practice, Joe Flacco drops back gingerly to throw.The quarterback has a metal brace wrapped around his left knee and is the only player on the field in a red jersey. Hes wearing No. 5, but it might as well read: Do Not Touch.Flacco was once considered a Baltimore football equivalent to Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, baseballs Iron Man. Now, however, Flacco is seeking to return from a season-ending injury in November that snapped his run of 137 consecutive starts.It was one of many injuries that contributed heavily to a dismal 5-11 finish for the Ravens -- their first losing season under coach John Harbaugh.In his previous seven years, Harbaugh compiled a 72-40 record, reached the playoffs six times and won a Super Bowl.Then came 2015, when everything went awry.Baltimore placed 20 players on injured reserve, eight of them starters. The downward spiral began on the first day of training camp, when top draft pick Breshad Perriman tore a knee ligament. The speedy wide receiver was supposed to fill the void left by the departure of free agent Torrey Smith, but Perriman never played a minute and remains in recovery mode with the Sept. 11 opener against Buffalo less than a month away.Flacco and running back Justin Forsett (broken arm) are back on the practice field, but neither played in Baltimores preseason opener Thursday night.The wait remains for Perriman, wide receiver Steve Smith (torn Achilles tendon), and linebackers Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles tendon) and Elvis Dumervil (foot). All four are on the physically unable to perform list and have been rarely seen this summer, even on the sidelines.They all want to play, I know that, Harbaugh said this week. Theyre all working really hard to play in the preseason, but were certainly expecting them all back for the opener. Well just have to make some decisions. Terrell Suggs is the closest. He had the injury the soonest. Hes already on me about practice, and Im holding him back right now. Hell be out there soon practicing. How much we play him remains to be seen. The other guys are probably a little longer away than he is -- him being ready -- but well just see where we go.Theres also the matter of tight end Dennis Pitta, who had his season end in 2013 and 2014 with a serious hip injury. Pitta missed all last year and is attempting another comeback, but his bid was stalled by a sprained finger he received during a training camp scuffle.If it isnt one thing, its another.Third-round draft pick Bronson Kaufusi, a promising defensive end, broke his ankle in a low-contact drill and will miss the entire season.Thats a part of the game; its a part of football, Harbaugh said with a shrug. It happens for a reason, in my opinion. You have to look at it that way.At least the Ravens have Flacco, who spent countless hours rehabilitating his knee to be ready for the start of training camp. Baltimore used three starting quarterbacks in his absence last year, none of whom came close to serving as an adequate alternative to the franchise leader in completions, touchdown throws and yards passing.Obviously, last season, what he went through -- what a lot of guys went through -- to have him back and leading this team says a lot about his character, his toughness and why hes one of the best, said safety Eric Weddle, arguably the most significant of Baltimores offseason free agent pickups.Until Smith and Perriman join the mix, its uncertain who Flacco will be targeting on the outside. Newcomer Mike Wallace appears to be the most viable option, but he knows he cant go it alone.I cant wait until they get back, because I just want to see our group in full, Wallace said. I think we can be dangerous.Being healthy would be good enough.I think you always want to play at full strength, Flacco said. But in the NFL, thats not a reality. You go out there, you play your best, and do your best with what youve got.---AP NFL website: and Mike Schmidt Jersey . The Hall of Fame defenceman told Landsberg that he believes fighting still has a place in todays game, but thinks staged fighting needs be outlawed. Maikel Franco Jersey . It just didnt show when he hit the ice. Berra made 42 saves and Kris Russell scored at 1:32 of overtime, lifting the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night. . LOUIS -- Mike Smith is used to facing plenty of shots, so this was nothing new. Robin Roberts Jersey . It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Youth Phillies Jerseys . The (11-11-4) Jets are seventh in the Central Division with 26 points. Fifth place Dallas and sixth-seeded Nashville also have 26 points, but the Stars have three games in hand on Winnipeg while Nashville has two. EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Its not supposed to work. Every bit of NFL front-office history has taught us that you cant go out and fix your problems with one big free-agent offseason. Build through the draft, thats the way to go. Free agency is for augmentation, not foundation building.So no, the New York Giants couldnt have seen this coming. Even after doling out top-dollar deals for three defensive free agents and a generous one-year deal for one of their own, veteran defensive end?Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants themselves couldnt have known it would turn out like this.You hope so, linebacker Jonathan Casillas said Sunday afternoon, after he and the Giants defense had delivered a second straight stifling victory over an NFC division leader, this time a 17-6 win over the Detroit Lions. You always hope its going to work, when you bring in new guys, but you never know for sure.The Giants didnt know for sure in March, or even in September. But they know now. They know they can win games with defense -- even in a down year for QB?Eli Manning, one in which the offensive game plan increasingly seems to be, Just protect the ball as best you can until Odell Beckham Jr. makes a play.You can spend a good chunk of the NFL season trying to figure out who you are. But by this point, if you want to do big things, you have to know who you are. The Giants know.Our mindset is to stop the opponent, to not let them score, said Landon Collins, the second-year safety whos emerged as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate after a rough rookie season. You obviously want to be one of the top defenses in the league, but our mindset is, Get a stop on third down. Get a stop. Get our offense back on the field in good field position.You can point to the performances of free-agent signings Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins?as the reason this defense has jumped from league-worst to good-enough-to-beat-anybody in just one year. And theres some validity there. All three of those guys have played brilliantly, so far justifying the Giants decisions to spend whatever it took to get them.But its more than that, as it must be. The Giants defensive turnaround has to do with Collins being in the right position, and having a season under his belt so his heads not swimming the way it was last season. It has to do with the mindset of someone like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the veteran cornerback who lost his job to rookie Eli Apple but stepped in when Jenkins left Sundays game due to injury. It has to do with young, untested defensive linemen like Romeo Okwara and Owa Odighizuwa playing better since Pierre-Paul got hurt.When your number is called, you can either go down or go up, Collins said. And a lot of us have been moving up.This kind of thing feeds on itself, and you can see it inn a Giants defense that held Dallas to seven points a week ago and Detroit to six Sunday.dddddddddddd Manning entered Week 15 ranked 26th in Total QBR and 23rd in yards per attempt, and the Giants still sit at 10-4, one victory away from qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2011. They left MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon with the knowledge that, if Dallas slips up Sunday night against the Buccaneers, they could still win the NFC East.But the reason for the Giants success is that they havent been distracted by big-picture stuff. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, himself a coaching reclamation project after presiding over defenses that set records for futility in New Orleans and previously with the Giants, has found a way to keep his charges focused on and dedicated to their individual jobs from play to play and week to week.Weve got a lot of guys at their positions being asked to win one-on-one battles, and were winning them, Casillas said. [WR]?Golden Tate had a day today, and that happens sometimes, but the good thing was it was only him. We basically bottled up everybody else.Tate had 122 yards from scrimmage. No other Lion had more than 52. QB?Matthew Stafford, the king of the fourth-quarter comeback this season, threw for a pedestrian 273 yards on 24-for-39 passing?with an interception. The run-challenged Lions managed 56 rushing yards on 19 carries. Down four points in the fourth quarter, a team that has come back to win in eight of its nine victories this season instead saw its deficit grow thanks to big-play Beckham, who one-handed the game-sealing touchdown.We just have a relentless mentality, Rodgers-Cromartie said. Nobody wants to be the guy who goes out and lets down the team. Thats the way were going right now, and thats special.The Giants defense, long an Achilles heel, has a special feel to it. Playing without Pierre-Paul the past two weeks and now facing the possibility of playing without Jenkins, who injured his back and has only?three days to recover before the Thursday night game in Philadelphia, they seem convinced they can deliver.It wasnt supposed to be like this. The Giants were supposed to have an explosive offense and hope the defense could just rise from the back of the pack to the middle. Instead, theyre in December and the defense is carrying the offense. Theyll take it. Its an NFL era in which championships can once again be won with defense, as the 2015 Broncos proved. And while this years Giants have a long way to go before they can compare themselves to that group, theyre in a position now where they dont wonder whether they can stop anybody when it matters. They know they can. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '