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Hamstring keeps Raiders' Seymour out of practice

Hamstring keeps Raiders' Seymour out of practice

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Trying to stop Baltimore running back Ray Rice was already a monumental task facing the Oakland Raiders this week. Doing it without seven-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour will make the challenge even more daunting.

Seymour missed his second straight practice Thursday due to a lingering hamstring injury and is questionable to play in Baltimore on Sunday. The 12th-year veteran was already on a light practice schedule as a result of his troublesome knees.

Neither Seymour nor Raiders coach Dennis Allen sounded too optimistic about the prospects of the 33-year-old defender playing against the Ravens.

``I don't know, I'm not sure,'' Seymour said. ``Hammies are tough. I've had them throughout my career. The only thing you can do is work hard. When it's ready I'll be back.''

Allen has had a tendency to take an overly cautious approach at times with some of his injured players but the rookie head coach made it clear that's not the case with Seymour.

``He couldn't practice today if he had to,'' Allen said flatly. ``We'll see where he is tomorrow.''

If Seymour can't play, the Raiders would be forced to use a patchwork lineup that also has some health issues. Backup defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was pulled out of last week's loss to Tampa Bay with an irregular heartbeat, while defensive ends Matt Shaughnessy and Dave Tollefson are nursing sore shoulders.

The Raiders need all the healthy bodies they can find if they are to have any hope of slowing down Rice, a two-time Pro Bowl running back who is fifth in the AFC in rushing with 622 yards and six touchdowns.

It doesn't help that Oakland is coming off its worst showing of the season after allowing Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin to rush for four touchdowns and a franchise record 251 yards.

Before that game the Raiders had done fairly well against the run. But the loss to the Bucs exposed several problems, most of them tackling.

Allen made that an emphasis in practice this week and put the players through a padded practice Wednesday in hopes of improving their tackling techniques after Martin gained 197 of his yards before getting hit.

``It's just focusing in,'' Seymour said.

Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said the majority of the Raiders breakdowns have come in basic technique and fundamentals. He noted that players were in position to stop Martin numerous times but failed to bring the rookie running back down.

``We have to tackle better,'' Tarver said. ``We had two games where we didn't. We have to know where our help is and tackle better.''

There will be even more pressure on the Raiders defense this week.

Running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are both in walking boots, leaving seldom-used Taiwan Jones and fullback Marcel Reece to split the reps in practice with the first team offense.

Oakland is also trying to sort out who its right tackle will be. Khalif Barnes, who began the season as the starter, returned to practice this week after missing six games with a groin injury. He's been splitting time in practice with backup Willie Smith and rookie Tony Bergstrom.

``Obviously, I've got some kinks to get out,'' Barnes said. ``I've just been out there on the field trying to test the water. I don't know anything about playing.''

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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. 

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Ravens 2017 Preseason Schedule: Opponents, Dates, Times, TV Channel, How to Watch

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Ravens 2017 Preseason Schedule: Opponents, Dates, Times, TV Channel, How to Watch

The 2017 NFL preseason will be here in no time. Once the preseason gets here, it is just a matter of time (a month) before the regular season is set to begin. 

Back in April the NFL announced the preseason schedule for all 32 teams.

The Baltimore Ravens four preseason games will span across four weeks starting on August 10, running to August 31. 

Opening up the exhibition schedule, the Ravens will host their beltway rivals, the Washington Redskins on August 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on WBAL-TV, as well as the other three preseason games. 

RAVENS 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1 Ravens vs. Redskins:

Opponent: Washington Redskins
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
When: Thursday, August 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 2: Ravens at Dolphins

Opponent: Miami Dolphins
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Florida
When: Thursday, August 17, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 3: Ravens vs. Bills

Opponent: Buffalo Bills
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
When: Sunday, August 26, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 4: Ravens at Saints

When: Thursday, August 31, 8:00 p.m. ET
Opponent: New Orleans Saints
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
TV Channel: WBAL-TV