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Ravens Insider
The latest Baltimore Ravens news, notes and analysis
Nickel Package: Five things to watch in Ravens at Texans

As the Ravens (9-5) square off with the Houston Texans (7-7) at 1 p.m. Sunday at NRG Stadium, here’s Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson’s checklist of things to keep an eye on:

1. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs

The Ravens’ formidable outside linebacker tandem has combined for 28 sacks this season, with Dumervil's 17 tied with Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston for most in the NFL. Between Dumervil, Suggs and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, the Ravens have built an extremely dangerous pass rush. That should pay dividends against relatively inexperienced quarterback Case Keenum, who is expected to start Sunday. He lost all eight of his starts last season for the Texans but has not played in 2014, having been on the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad. Keenum has a live arm and doesn’t lack for confidence, but could be overwhelmed by Dumervil and Suggs. The Texans rank 25th in passing offense despite the presence of two capable wide receivers in Andre Johnson and...

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Third video of Ray Rice domestic violence incident shows couple in handcuffs, kissing after arrest
Torrey Smith honored as Ravens' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee

The late Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton was nicknamed "Sweetness."

That was a nod of respect to the Hall of Fame running back's moves on the football field as well as his good-natured personality and generosity off the field.

Those qualities were recognized in wide receiver Torrey Smith by the Ravens on Friday when he was named the franchise's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Smith is one of 32 NFL players nominated for an award that will be presented Jan. 31 during the NFL Honors program.

The former Maryland standout emphasized that the award is nice, but it's not why he and his wife, Chanel, are so involved in the community. That includes mentoring and reading programs for children.

“I feel like you’re getting rewarded for what you’re supposed to do," Smith said. "I don’t think it’s really anything special that I’m doing. We’re in a position where we all know what it’s like on the outside looking in. We looked up to athletes or entertainers or whoever...

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Ravens to square off with Texans' talented receiving tandem of Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins

Although the Houston Texans' quarterback situation remains in flux, they don't lack for talented downfield targets.

Between starters Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans have one of the top wide receiver tandems in the NFL. And they're likely to challenge an injury-riddled Ravens secondary that ranks 30th in the NFL in pass defense (259.9 yards allowed per game) on Sunday.

Johnson is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection who has caught 69 passes for 737 yards this season and 996 receptions for 13,398 yards and 63 touchdowns in his career. Hopkins, a first-round draft pick last season, has thrived this season, with 69 receptions for 1,167 yards and six touchdowns.

"Great duo," Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "Andre is one of the best in the game. I know the knowledge he has for the game, he's been passing that on to the young guy, Hopkins. You can tell that by how he plays on the field. He's like an Andre, and Andre is teaching him well. We've got to man up and be ready to...

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Third video of Ray Rice domestic violence incident shows couple in handcuffs, kissing after arrest

A third video has surfaced of former Ravens running back Ray Rice's domestic violence incident and subsequent arrest following an altercation with his now-wife, Janay, in an Atlantic City, N.J., casino.

The video, obtained by ABC News, displays security footage taken after Rice punched Janay in a casino elevator in February. It includes footage of both Rice and Janay Palmer, his then-fiancee, in handcuffs. Palmer appears extremely distraught in the video.

While being led away by police officers and security officials, Rice and Palmer kiss in an elevator. They are then placed into separate police cars taken to be booked and processed.

According to the ABC News report, Rice attempted to legally block the release of the new video this week in New Jersey, but was unsuccessful.

Rice and Palmer were both arrested in February and charged with simple assault-domestic violence. Rice's charge was later upgraded to felony aggravated assault following a grand jury indictment. Palmer's charge was...

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Kicker Justin Tucker adjusting to Patrick Scales, Ravens' third long snapper this season

Ravens Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker will be adjusting to the third long snapper of the season Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Because of an elbow injury to long snapper Kevin McDermott, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday, the Ravens signed Patrick Scales. In October, regular long snapper Morgan Cox was placed on injured reserve when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

Tucker does have a background with Scales, who was in training camp with the Ravens in 2012 during Tucker's rookie season.

"Pat is a guy we're familiar with," Tucker said. "We've worked with him before, so we know a lot about him and the way he snaps. He really fires the ball; I love that about him.

"You can tell he snaps with no fear. That's something I appreciate, that [punter Sam Koch] appreciates. We're looking forward to getting him his first win in his first NFL game this week."

Scales has played for four NFL teams but hasn't snapper in a regular-season game.

Scales worked out for the Ravens in...

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