Roethlisberger, Leftwich inactive for Steelers

Roethlisberger, Leftwich inactive for Steelers

BALTIMORE (AP) Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich are inactive for Pittsburgh's game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

This will be third straight game that Roethlisberger misses with a rib and shoulder injury. Leftwich has been out since Nov. 18, when he hurt his ribs in a loss to the Ravens.

Charlie Batch will start at quarterback. Also inactive for Pittsburgh are cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, tackle Mike Adams, running back Rashard Mendenhall, linebacker LaMarr Woodley and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.

Baltimore inactives include linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who has ankle, knee and finger injuries. Tight end Ed Dickson (knee) and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Chris Johnson are also inactive for the Ravens.

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Forsett's cousin is on The Bachelorette — and survived the opener

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Forsett's cousin is on The Bachelorette — and survived the opener

Because Monday Night Football only runs in the fall and winter, one would think that America's TV guide would be lacking a program full of intense, testosterone-driven competition between determined men during the summer time. But that's why ABC has given us The Bachelorette, a dating game show that'll come on once a week and features a woman named Jo Jo looking for love amongst a handful of guys wearing suits that are way too tight and sporting unhealthy amounts of hair gel.

Fine, so it's not a perfect substitution for four quarters of NFL action, but it'll have to do (it beats turning the TV off and interacting with loved ones, at least). And for Ravens running back Justin Forsett, The Bachelorette will actually be more than something he simply puts up on the screen when he doesn't want to watch The Departed, which is seemingly on at least once a day, again. That's because his cousin is a contestant striving for Jo Jo's heart.

Here's what Forsett had to say during the show's premiere:

Then, when asked which of the dudes he was related to, he responded:

When looking through The Bachelorette's cast, there's no Chris, but there is a Christian, whom must be the person Forsett is referring to. As far as how Christian's debut went? Well — to put it into football terms — he picked up a win in Week 1:

Of course, Forsett was unable to escape the night without being on the receiving end of some ridicule. Former Jaguars star (and teammate of Forsett's in 2013) Maurice Jones-Drew fired this message off after seeing the Ravens' workhorse's original post in which he said he hopes Christian would come out on top:

Well, Christian survived the opener, at least. Whether he's able to keep the drive going and eventually cross the goal line as the show's champion, though, is something that will only be revealed in the coming episodes. 

(Author's note: Writing about The Bachelorette while using football metaphors helps make writing about The Bachelorette feel more acceptable). 

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Forsett visits prison, talks with inmates who have him in fantasy football

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Forsett visits prison, talks with inmates who have him in fantasy football

When Ravens running back Justin Forsett visited San Quentin State (Calif.) Prison recently, he had no idea his value in fantasy football would be a topic of conversation with inmates.

Forsett went to college at Cal, which is about 25 miles from San Quentin. He became a popular fantasy football choice with inmates, after he rushed for a career–best 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns in 2014. However, Forsett’s production fell last season to just 641 yards and two touchdowns, after he missed the final six games with a broken arm.

Inmates who took Forsett in their fantasy draft were not happy. And they didn’t mind telling Forsett.

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“As were walking through, inmates were running up to me, hugging me, whispering to each other about me, yelling, ‘Hey, yo Forsett,’’’ he wrote on his personal blog. “I had you on my fantasy team last season.”

“I was like, ‘What, you all have fantasy football in here?’ It brings a new perspective a season-ending injury when you have an inmate telling you he had you on his fantasy team…and I know I didn’t get any points for this guy.

“You know, I had to apologize. It was a surreal experience that these guys know who you are and are playing fantasy football.”

The visit wasn’t all fun and laughter for Forsett. He was part of the San Quentin Squires Program, which brings youngsters to the prison, to expose them to the realities of prison life as a deterrent to breaking the law.

Forsett was impressed with what the inmates told the youngsters.

“Since one bad decision can land you in a place like this, the inmates really encourage them to avoid this life path,” Forsett wrote. “Some of them - I’m talking murderers in there for life – shared their stories and made sure the kids understood that jail is not a cool place to be.”

After that experience, Forsett is less likely to complain about the dog days of training camp. And he has also learned that San Quentin does fantasy football.

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AFC North: Veteran pass rusher Freeney reportedly to work out for Bengals

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AFC North: Veteran pass rusher Freeney reportedly to work out for Bengals

Veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney has been looking for a landing spot, and the Cincinnati Bengals could be it. The Bengals plan to work out Freeney this week, according to Coley Harvey of ESPN.com

Freeney turned 36 years old in February, but looked like he still had gas in his tank last season with the Cardinals. An October pickup, Freeney produced eight sacks and forced three fumbles in just 245 snaps, and helped the Cardinals reach the NFC championship game.

Consider that Freeney’s eight sacks last season were more than anyone on the Ravens had. Elvis Dumervil led the Ravens in 2015 with six sacks.

How well Freeney would fit with the Bengals, who play primarily a 4-3, could be an issue. But Freeney’s veteran leadership might be an asset to a Bengals team trying to end years of playoff frustration. The Bengals have made the playoffs five straight seasons, but have lost their playoff opener each of those times. Freeney won a Super Bowl with the Colts, and would like to play in another before he calls it quits.

RELATED: HARBAUGH ZINGS TOMLIN OVER HANDSHAKES, JACOBY JONES