One of the bigger surprises this year is James Ihedigbo starting at safety for the Baltimore Ravens. Perhaps a bigger surprise is how often he's making headlines these days for the strangest reasons.
Last Sunday, he was engaged in an on-field feud with Cleveland wide receiver Greg Little. Now, there's a report that Ihedigbo is taking "pain" chips from the same man who said he supplied Ray Lewis with deer-antler spray. As the report states, these chips (which are essentially hologram stickers) aren't banned by the NFL.
"I've been working with James for years," Mitch Ross, a co-owner of Sports with Alternatives to Steroids (SWATS), told The Baltimore Sun. "James is a great guy. I hope he talks about the products and the good things they've done for him."
Personally, I'd rather talk about Bora Bora than something about pain chips.
Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...
John Eisenberg, of the team's official website, believes the Ravens need their top earners to key this season's turnaround. "It goes without saying that the guys making big bucks are supposed to take you where you want go, lead your team," Eisenberg wrote. "They’re getting that money for a reason."
The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck acknowledges the Ravens have been awful recently, but he also argues the difference between the third-place Ravens and the first-place Bengals is 11 points. "Just to oversimplify a complicated situation, that's three losses by a combined TD, two-point conversion and field goal," Schmuck wrote. "In other words, the Ravens were essentially one play away from winning all three games."
With the Broncos' John Fox and the Texans' Gary Kubiak both being hospitalized recently, John Harbaugh understands how the stress of coaching could lead to health issues. “You’ve got a bunch of highly-competitive people clashing every Sunday , and the stakes are high,” Harbaugh said, via Comcast SportsNet. “Everybody works really, really hard at it, and there’s a lot of pressure, and that’s the way it should be. That’s OK, but that doesn’t make it any less demanding. So, our hearts and prayers definitely go out to those two guys.”
The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston predicts more turnover for the Ravens next offseason. "Is it time to clean house? The Ravens started that this past offseason," Preston wrote. "It is going to happen again this offseason. The salary cap situation and the high-dollar contracts on the books tell you that a good number of players currently on the roster will not be here next year. As for the coaches, I would not be surprised to see a few move on."