NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Baltimore Ravens completed their on-field preparations for the Super Bowl with a brief, fun-filled session at the Superdome.
Hundreds of team officials, family and friends attended the walk-though, which lasted for 15 minutes. The session was more of a pep rally than a workout on the eve of Sunday's championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Running back Ray Rice playfully tackled his mother on the sideline and guard Marshal Yanda had a video camera attached to the top of his Ravens cap.
Around 600 people, including Hall of Fame running back Lenny Moore, were in attendance.
Coach John Harbaugh said it was important to get the players' families involved, especially since he was delighted with the way practice went this week leading up to Saturday.
``The word I would use is effective,'' he said. ``We've gotten everything we've needed to get done, that's the No. 1 thing.''
The Ravens initially practiced at Tulane University before sharing the New Orleans Saints practice facility with brother Jim and his 49ers on Thursday and Friday.
``The league has an obligation and a desire to make sure the competitive playing field is fair,'' John Harbaugh said. ``I appreciate Jim cooperating with us. He was great about it. Ultimately, made it fair for everybody.''
The NFL has decided on the locations of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Super Bowls. The vote took place at the NFL owners meetings in Charlotte on Tuesday.
Atlanta will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019, while South Florida (Miami) will get the event in 2020 and Los Angeles will host in 2021.
The cities chosen each included new or upgraded stadiums in their pitches to the league.
Atlanta will be home to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, opening in 2017.
Miami's stadium (Sun Life Stadium from 2010-2016) is undergoing a $400 million renovation that will include an open-air canopy to provide shade for 92 percent of seats, according to Sports Illustrated. Construction should be complete before the 2017 season.
And Los Angeles will boast a new 300-acre, campus-style stadium housing the Rams and potentially a second team. The $2.6 billion project will be the most expensive sports arena in the world, reports CNN, and should be ready before the 2019 NFL season.
Bengals Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert will undergo ankle surgery, according to multiple reports.
Estimates varied on when Eifert would return, but he was not expected to be back on the field until at least mid-August.
Eifert suffered his injury at the Pro Bowl, which he left wearing a walking boot.
His ankle has not responded to treatment as well as Eifert hoped, and he could not join his teammates for OTA’s this week.
A first-round pick in 2013 (21st overall), Eifert led all NFL tight ends with 13 touchdown catches last season, and had 52 catches overall for 615 yards. Still only 25 years old, Eifert has emerged as a major weapon for the Bengals, and they have already picked up his fifth-year option.
The priority for the Bengals is to have Eifert ready for Week 1 when they visit the Jets. Ryan Hewitt, Tyler Kroft, and C. J. Uzomah will see plenty of reps at tight end until Eifert returns.
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The NFL made modest changes to replay rules Tuesday, but did not institute major changes that some teams, including the Ravens, had proposed in recent months.
Owners voted for changes that slightly increased situations where plays can be reviewed, and when officials can turn to the league office for help during games.
Situations subject to replay review, which were not before, include:
- Penalty enforcement
- Proper down
- Spot of a foul
- Status of game clock
Plays not reviewable in the past, that can now be reviewed, include:
- Where a ball in the air crosses the sideline.
- Whether a player was blocked into a loose ball.
- Advancement by a player after either a valid, or invalid, fair catch signal.
- Whether player impetus forced a ball to travel into the end zone.
The Ravens made a proposal in March that would have made all plays reviewable except for offensive and defensive holding, offensive and defensive pass interference, illegal contact, illegal use of hands, and whether a quarterback, receiver, or kicker had been hit illegally. The Patriots had previously proposed that all plays be made reviewable, but that has also been resisted by the owners and the competition committee.
Each team will still be given two replay challenges per game, and will be awarded a third challenge only if the first two are successful.