Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he’ll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too.
RUNNING IT BACK
The NFL on Monday surprisingly suspended Ravens free safety Ed Reed for repeated hits to the head, including one in Sunday night's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. ... Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that tight end Dennis Pitta's concussion symptoms have subsided. ... Wide receiver Torrey Smith had a quiet game against the Steelers. ... Mike Preston says the Ravens have to find the right time to negotiate a new contract with Joe Flacco, who is in the final year of his deal.
RAVENS STUFF, BUT NOT FROM US
Reed's suspension shows that this is a new era in the NFL. ... The suspension is a hard hit to the Ravens. ... Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has stepped up for the Ravens. ... Cornerback Corey Graham has also stepped up for the Ravens. ... There shouldn't be an asterisk on Sunday's win.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
A blackout looms over Sunday's game in San Diego. ... Is it time for the San Diego Chargers to move on from quarterback Philip Rivers? ... Hiring Jon Gruden as coach might save the job of Chargers general manager A.J. Smith. ... The math says that the Chargers are still alive. ... The Chargers know that their offensive line needs improvement.
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE DAY
The Ravens gained a little bit of ground in my weekly NFL power rankings after beating the Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday night.
OUTSIDE OF BALTIMORE
The San Francisco 49ers thumped the Chicago Bears on Monday night. ... New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had surgery on his fractured forearm. ... Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee is out for six to eight weeks with a knee injury. ... The Steelers could sign receiver Plaxico Burress. They will also be without banged-up backup QB Byron Leftwich this weekend.