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AP Pro32 ballot from Gosselin

AP Pro32 ballot from Gosselin

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Rick Gosselin of Dallas Morning News:

Week 15

RICK GOSSELIN (Dallas Morning News)

1. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning is making his pitch for a record fourth NFL MVP award. He has steered Denver to eight consecutive victories and thrown 19 TD passes during that stretch.

2. New England Patriots - The Patriots have the worst defense of any division leader. New England ranks 26th in the league, allowing an average of 376 yards per game.

3. Houston Texans - The Texans have lost twice this season, allowing 42 points in both games (Green Bay and New England).

4. San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers can join the Falcons with 4-0 records against the AFC this season with a victory Sunday in New England over the Patriots. The NFC leads the inter-conference series, 31-23.

5. Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons were the last of the NFL unbeatens this season at 8-0 but suddenly look very vulnerable. Atlanta has lost two of its last five games and won two others by four points or less.

6. Green Bay Packers - A Packer win Sunday in Chicago would give Green Bay a sweep of its three division rivals in a span of three weeks and clinch another NFC North.

7. Baltimore Ravens - With an uncharacteristically porous defense (24th in the NFL), the Ravens need more from their offense this season. But a cast that includes QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice and WR Anquan Boldin was underperforming (18th in the NFL) and it cost coordinator Cam Cameron his job. Jim Caldwell takes over Sunday against Denver.

8. Indianapolis Colts - WR Reggie Wayne is attempting to lead the AFC in receiving for the second time in six seasons - with two different quarterbacks. He caught 104 passes from Peyton Manning in 2007 and has 94 from Andrew Luck this season.

9. New York Giants - K Lawrence Tynes is attempting to become the first member of the Giants to lead the NFL in scoring since Don Chandler in 1963. He's No. 1 right now with 137 points.

10. Seattle Seahawks - Every opening-day starting quarterback in the NFL has passed for 300 yards in a game this season except one - rookie Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.

11. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler passed for 333 yards in the season opener, but he hasn't hit 300 yards in any game since. In six of his starts he's been under 200.

12. Washington Redskins - Sixth-round find Alfred Morris of Florida Atlantic leads all rookie rushers with six 100-yard games this season. He ranks fourth in the NFL with 1,228 yards rushing.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers have the chance to become the only AFC team to go unbeaten against the NFC in 2012 with a victory Sunday over the Cowboys. Pittsburgh has swept the other three NFC East opponents.

14. Dallas Cowboys - WR Dez Bryant has taken over the Cowboys passing game with seven TD catches in the last five games. But he has a fractured finger and his season could be done. That would be a huge blow to the Cowboys' playoff hopes.

15. Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson is averaging 157 yards rushing in his last seven games with eight touchdowns. He's topped 100 yards all seven of those games.

16. Cincinnati Bengals - The key to the playoff hopes of the 7-6 Bengals rests in Pennsylvania. Cincinnati visits the Eagles and Steelers in the next two weeks.

17. St. Louis Rams - The Rams are 4-0-1 in division play in the NFC West this season, which bodes well for the future.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Buccaneers are inept against the pass, allowing a 500-, a 400- and six other 300-yard passers this season. Tampa Bay also has allowed a league-high 10 individual 100-yard receiving games.

19. New York Jets - The Jets have the only defense in the NFL that has not allowed an individual 100-yard receiver yet this season.

20. Cleveland Browns - The Browns are no longer playing like a young team, winning their last three games to boost the coaching stock of Pat Shurmur in the eyes of new team owner Jimmy Haslam.

21. New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees has thrown nine interceptions in his last three games. His 18 interceptions through 13 games already match his career high.

22. San Diego Chargers - The Chargers have scored an NFL-runner-up six defensive touchdowns but have little to show for them - a disappointing 5-8 record.

23. Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins are in dire need of a big-play receiver to accelerate the development of Ryan Tannehill as a quarterback. Look for the Dolphins to go wideout in the first round next April.

24. Carolina Panthers - The Panthers defense has 21 sacks in six road games this season but only nine in seven home games. Carolina visits San Diego Sunday.

25. Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Foles isn't the rushing threat of Michael Vick at quarterback but he's a more accurate passer. He also takes better care of the football.

26. Buffalo Bills - The Bills head north this weekend for their annual game in Toronto. It's a home game for the Bills, but there is no home field advantage - Buffalo is 1-3 in those games.

27. Tennessee Titans - A big part of Tennessee's problem this season is its inability to compete in its own division. The Titans are 4-9 on the season and 0-5 in the AFC South.

28. Detroit Lions - The 4-9 Lions have blown double-digit leads in losing each of their last three games.

29. Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals have lost nine consecutive games with three different quarterbacks. John Skelton is 0-5 during that stretch and both Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley 0-2.

30. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders have allowed 400-plus points for the second consecutive season.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars have managed a league-low 14 sacks, which helps explain why opponents are completing almost 64 percent of their passes.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Brady Quinn has passed for fewer than 500 yards in three starts since replacing Matt Cassel at quarterback. The Chiefs rank 31st in the NFL in passing.

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Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

The NFL announced today that tight end Darren Waller of the Baltimore Ravens would be suspended for a year or longer for his second violation of the substance abuse policy.

Waller was a 2015 sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech who served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for a substance abuse violation. After returning from his suspension last year, he posted 10 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role.

After his 2016 violation, he was quoted as saying [via Ravens.com]:

“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”

Unfortunately for the Ravens, he will miss the 2017 season and potentially longer after the latest violation. It leaves the Ravens down two tight ends from last year after Dennis Pitta was released earlier this month after re-injuring his hip.

MORE RAVENS: Zach Orr considering coming out of retirement

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Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

In January of 2017, former Ravens linebacker Zach Orr took the podium at the team's training facility alongside head coach John Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome and defensive coordinator Dean Pees, to announce he would be retiring from football at the age of 24.

Why? Orr suffered a shoulder injury during their week 16 game against longtime rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, which shed light into a condition he's had since birth.

He had a routine MRI, but the Ravens training staff suggested a full body CAT scan as well. The CAT scan reveled Orr had a congenital back/spine condition where one of the upper vertebra isn't totally formed causing there to be an opening. Less than 1 percent of people are born with such a condition and he wasn't aware of it until he suffered this injury.

Doctors told Orr he was at risk of paralysis or even death if he played with such a condition. He also would have never been able to pass an NFL physical, ultimately forcing him to retire.

During his press conference, Orr said this,

"If there's some miracle way where I can play the game, I promise I'd be the first one to grab my cleats again, start back training and try to find a way to get back out there," Orr said.

Well, fast forward to today and it seems that miracle may have happened.

NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo told Good Morning Football that after getting a second opinion from doctors, and receiving positive news, Orr is considering a return to the NFL.

"I had my mind made up. I was like man, the doctors told me I was done. This is a serious issue. So I'm going to leave it alone. But I just kept hearing that from multiple people and some were telling me to just go check out and seek out some more opinions and things like that and come to find out my condition, it is rare – .01 percent of the people have what I have – but there's no actual evidence or facts that I'm at a higher risk than any other player. And it's actually been documented that a college player who had the exact same thing that I have that returned to play with no problems."

The doctors' real concerns would be if someone with Orr's spinal condition played with a herniated disk. He did suffer from herniated disks last season, but that injury has since diminished. 

MORE RAVENS: 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

If Orr does decide to get back into the NFL, getting signed could be pretty easy. 

When he announced his retirement, he never filed for retirement papers and the Ravens never placed him on their reserve/retired list because they never thought he would play again.

Because of this, Orr is considered an unrestricted free agent and can sign with a team right away. 

Orr had his best season in 2016, where he lead the Ravens in tackles with 133. It's been reported that eight teams have reached out to the linebacker since his announcement and that he will be meeting with the Lions on Thursday.