Khloé Kardashian is one of the most recognizable names so when people started speculating on why she was covering her famous face with a bandage, she decided to set the record straight. In a series of Instagram stories, the reality star explained her scare with skin cancer for the second time. "After noticing a small bump on my face and assuming it was something as minor as a zit," she wrote alongside a photo of her bump, "I decided to get it biopsied 7 months after realizing it was not budging." She went on to reveal, "A few days later I was told I need to have an immediate operation to remove a tumor from my face," she shared. "I called none other than Dr. Garth Fischer, a dear friend of my families and one of the best surgeons in Beverly Hills who I knew would take incredible care of my face." The mom of two said, "So, here we are…you'll continue to see my bandages and when I'm allowed, you'll probably see a scar (and an indention in my cheek from the tumor being removed)," she added, "but until then I hope you enjoy how fabulous these face bandages look." She also noted, "At 19 years old, I had melanoma on my back," she recalled, "and I had a surgery to remove that as well, so I am pre-composed to melanomas. Even those who are not, we should be checking all the time." She ended her posts by thanking her doctors and expressing gratitude. "Most people aren't as lucky as me," she wrote, "and I am forever thankful and grateful." Skin cancer is a leading cause of death and according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, "It is estimated that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day," However, it's also preventable by reducing your exposure to ultraviolet rays and wearing sunscreen. "Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and has experienced dramatic rises in incidence in recent years. Fortunately, when caught early, all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma, can be completely curable," board-certified dermatologist, Julie Karen, MD tells us. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
FROM food and entertainment to the dream dress, there's no denying that weddings can be very expensive.
So it's little surprise many people try to cut back on costs by putting their DIY skills to use.
But there are some instances where it really should be left to the professionals...
One bride-to-be left social media users horrified after a shot of her wedding food preparation was re-shared on Reddit alongside a caption which read: "Wedding food prep day three… 30 lbs of pasta salad ✔ (Yes, that's an inflatable pool)."
The huge feast includes pasta mixed with everything from olives, cherry tomatoes, salami and cheese.
But while nothing sounds out of the ordinary, many have pointed out a huge problem - so can you spot it?
The major issue is that it's been prepared in a giant children's inflatable paddling pool - causing concerns for the health of her guests.
"If I was invited to that wedding I would definitely be bringing my own sandwich from home after this horrifying glimpse into the catering," wrote one.
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A second commented: "All I can keep thinking about is the pasta that's stuck under the inside 'folds!' of the sides of the pool. (Shudders)."
A third penned: "I don't even want to know what the mains are being served in."
Meanwhile, another pointed out: "How long will it sit in that [pool]?? Pasta can kill you once it grows bacteria! Never eat old pasta!"
A further warned: "Day three…so presumably the wedding is still some days away.
"They're going to literally kill guests with unrefrigerated pasta salad. Bacillus cereus is no joke!"
And they have a valid point as bacillus cereus is a bacterium often found in soil, food, and marine sponges - and is the common toxin which causes food poisoning.
While deaths from the bacteria may be rare, experts advise not eating pasta or rice that's days old.
Life changing. Spiritual. Better than any photo. These were the phrases used to describe the most recent total solar eclipse over the United States, and the cosmos are about to align again in spectacular fashion with two solar eclipses taking place over the U.S., just 177 days apart from each other.
"These eclipses are very different," eclipse photography expert Dr. Gordon Telepun told AccuWeather.
The first eclipse on the docket will take place on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, and will be visible from Oregon to Texas. Included in the path of that eclipse will be major cities, Native American reservations, national parks and sections of cross-country highways. This will be followed up by a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, that will be visible over Mexico, the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada.
|The new moon crosses in front of the sun creating an annular eclipse over West Mitten, left, and East Mitten buttes, Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Monument Valley, Ariz. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)|
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on the planet. However, no two eclipses are exactly the same.
"For the annular eclipse in October of 2023, the size of the moon in the sky is smaller than the size of the sun in the sky. So a rim of extremely bright sun will be visible around the edges of the moon," Telepun explained.
This ring of light is known as the annulus, but in the age of social media, it has been given the unofficial nickname of a "ring of fire." The viral nickname can be deceiving since it will not appear like the moon is on fire but rather outlined in a halo of light.
"You MUST use solar glasses for your eyes and solar filters for your camera gear for the entire duration of the eclipse!" Telepun said of the 2023 eclipse. Not using proper eye protection can cause permanent eye damage.
Just as important as having the proper eyewear is being in the right spot at the right time on Oct. 14, 2023. During an annular solar eclipse, the best viewing locations are directly in the center of the path of the eclipse. In these areas, viewers will get to see the moon perfectly symmetrical over the face of the sun. In areas closer to the edge of the path, the moon will appear off-center of the sun.
People across North America who live in areas outside of the path will be able to witness a partial solar eclipse, as long as clouds do not blanket the sky.
From the mountains of Oregon to the coast of Texas, here are the top locations in the U.S. for viewing the annular solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023:
San Antonio is the biggest city in the path of the 2023 solar eclipse with the entire event visible from the city and many of its suburbs. The ease of traveling to a big city will make it a popular destination for eclipse chasers, but a slightly better show is anticipated in the coastal city of Corpus Christi, located 130 miles southeast of San Antonio.
"The 2023 annular eclipse has its most prolonged duration in Corpus Christi," Telepun explained, with the annular phase lasting around 5 minutes. This is slightly longer than San Antonio, where the height of the eclipse will last around 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
Only 90% of the sun will be blocked out by the moon in Corpus Christi, leaving 10% of the sunlight illuminating the Earth. "This is still very bright and may not trick animals into beginning their nighttime behaviors," Telepun added.
Other cities in Texas that are a short distance away from the zone where the annular eclipse will be visible include Houston, Austin, Lubbock and McAllen.
|An annular solar eclipse is partially seen at sunrise Monday, May 21, 2012, from the coastal township of Gumaca, Quezon province, 187 kilometers (116 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)|
San Antonio is a unique location, as it will also be extremely close to the area where the total solar eclipse can be seen on April 8, 2024. However, the path of the 2024 eclipse will be just miles north and west of downtown San Antonio.
Over 40% of New Mexico will be in the path of the 2023 eclipse, and similar to Texas, residents of some of the state's most populated cities and towns won't have to travel to see the celestial spectacle.
Albuquerque is one of the prime viewing locations in the state, along with Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington and Hobbs. Several Native American Reservations across northwestern New Mexico also fall in the track of the eclipse, including land owned by the Navajo Nation and the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
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The weather in New Mexico throughout October makes it one of the most appealing destinations for viewing the 2023 eclipse.
From a climatological perspective, mid-October typically features dry conditions with limited cloud cover and precipitation across New Mexico, translating to a low chance that the weather will spoil the eclipse next October. However, there is still a chance that clouds could develop on the day of the eclipse.
Standing in four states at the same time is a bucket list item for people who dream of traveling across the U.S., and on Oct. 14, 2023, stargazers who visit the conjunction of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah will get an experience unlike any other.
Four Corners Monument is the only place in the U.S. where four states intersect, and folks who visit the tourist destination on Oct. 14, 2023, will be able to briefly stand in four states while also being aligned with the cosmos.
|The marker at Four Corners Monument that shows where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah intersect. (MARELBU)|
According to Navajo Tribal Parks, the monument will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., local time, on the day of the eclipse. People who plan on traveling to the Four Corners for the celestial alignment should arrive early as the partial eclipse begins shortly after 9 a.m., local time, with the height of the eclipse starting around 10:30 a.m., local time.
Utah is home to geological wonders that can leave first-time visitors in a state of awe, and the unique landscape will serve as a photogenic foreground for the 2023 eclipse.
Bryce Canyon National Park in south-central Utah is one of the most popular national parks in the path of the 2023 eclipse. Many of the campsites and hotels located near the park allow reservations to be made one year in advance, so people who plan on traveling to Bryce Canyon for the astronomical alignment are prepared.
The annular solar eclipse will also be visible from Capitol Reef National Park, Bear Ears National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Canyonlands National Park. Arches National Park and Zion National Park are also a short drive away from where the height of the eclipse will be visible.
|Hikers make their way up to Sunrise Point from the Queens Garden Trail Sunday, Sept., 6, 2009, in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)|
The sights in the sky at these parks won't end after the eclipse is over.
Many of the national parks across southern Utah, including Bryce Canyon, are designated as International Dark Sky Parks. This special certification means that they are home to some of the best stargazing conditions in the entire country with significantly darker skies than virtually anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. People who stay up late on the night following the eclipse may see the faint glow of the Milky Way surrounded by countless stars, and perhaps even a few shooting stars associated with October's Orionid meteor shower.
Oregon residents will get the first chance to see the solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023, and people who head to the mountains for the event could witness the eclipse over the pristine blue waters of Crater Lake.
Traveling to Crater Lake National Park for the eclipse may end up being a day trip rather than a weekend getaway as many of the campsites around the park close for the season in late September or early October, but there are still some limited lodging options in the area.
|A group of women wearing eclipse glasses to safely look at the sun during a solar eclipse. (Getty/LeoPatrizi)|
Medford and Eugene, Oregon, are the most populated cities in the state where the eclipse will be visible, with Portland and Salem, Oregon, located just outside of the path.
The difference between the 2023 eclipse and the 2024 eclipse will be the difference between night and day, so is it worth it to travel great distances just to see the annular eclipse of 2023?
"Some eclipse chasers are only interested in total solar eclipses because of the excitement of totality and seeing another beautiful corona," Telepun said. "However, others still appreciate the astronomical alignment of an annular eclipse. The perspective from space is fascinating. Everything about predicting an annular eclipse is the same as a total eclipse."
During both the 2023 and 2024 eclipses, people everywhere across the contiguous U.S. and most of Canada and Mexico will experience at least a partial solar eclipse. The closer people are to the center path of the eclipse, the more dramatic the effects will be as the moon temporarily blocks out some or most of the sunlight.
The reduction of sunlight will cause the temperature to drop, convective clouds could dissipate and shadows cast on the ground could form sharp edges, according to Telepun.
|Crescent-shaped shadows are pictured on a sidewalk as light passes through tree leaves during a partial solar eclipse in Oklahoma City, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)|
For photographers, the 2023 annular solar eclipse will be the perfect warmup ahead of the highly anticipated 2024 total solar eclipse.
"A tremendous benefit of the 2023 annular eclipse is that it can be a practice session for novice eclipse photographers," Telepun explained. "Suppose 2024 is your first total solar eclipse, or perhaps it's your second because you imaged 2017. In that case, this annular eclipse is an opportunity to test your preparation, gear, and setup. You can practice almost everything required to be successful in 2024. "
Capturing perfectly timed images of the annular eclipse can also lead to breathtaking photographs that are not able to be taken during a total eclipse.
"Creating a time-lapse sequence of the eclipse with the annulus centered between the two sets of partial phases is challenging and gratifying," Telepun added.
|A composite image shows the various phases of an annular solar eclipse, shot using mylar solar film. (Getty/Alameen R)|
The back-to-back celestial alignments will be the most impressive solar eclipses visible from the contiguous U.S. for two decades before two total solar eclipses unfold over the country in 2044 and 2045.
Content for this article was provided by Dr. Gordon Telepun. He is an expert eclipse photographer and eclipse educator. His new eBook "Eclipse Day - 2024 and More! How to enjoy, observe and photograph a total solar eclipse" is a comprehensive guide to preparing for all aspects of the 2024 solar eclipse and is available for Apple iPads, Android tablets, and a PDF for Windows computers. He is also the developer of the mobile app Solar Eclipse Timer which calculates the precise contact times of an eclipse and does audible countdowns to the contact times, max eclipse, and announces when to observe for the interesting partial phase phenomena. More information about his book and app can be found at www.solareclipsetimer.com.
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For many of us, it takes going to the beach to remind us of our body skin health, and that it also needs sunscreen. Skincare beauty routines worldwide has us layering 10 products on our face every morning and night, while our body receives an off-hand lotion application for most seasons, without (gasp) the necessary sunscreen. But for that glowing, smooth and healthy skin to help you best pull off your sleeveless and skirt looks, you need to create a dedicated body routine that caters to your skin's needs.
Dr Jyothish George, specialist dermatologist at Prime Hospital, says, “Just like the face it is also very important to moisturise the body and also protect the skin from excessive sun exposure using sunscreens.
“Skin on the body also can develop sunburns, pigmentation, skin cancers due to excessive sun exposure. Also, adequate moisturising will prevent skin dryness and hence skin infections and aging.”
Skin on the body also can develop sunburns, pigmentation, skin cancers due to excessive sun exposure.
Dr Jyothish George, specialist dermatologist at Prime Hospital
Gulf News speaks to Dr George and Dr Suzana Borba Roncaglia, Brazilian board-certified specialist dermatologist at Abu Dhabi-based Sno Bodyworx, and Healthbay Clinic, Dubai, for the skincare routine you need to keep your skin healthy amidst the sun and sands.
The beginning of all things beauty is ensuring that the days’ products, sunscreen, dust and more are off your skin.
But, there is a limit – as overwashing and harsh-treatment can cause dry, itchy skin and eczemas. Dr George says, “Avoid frequent baths with harsh soaps, and frequent exfoliating with harsh soaps. Always test a product on a small area especially when using it for the first time.”
Avoid frequent baths with harsh soaps, and frequent exfoliating with harsh soaps.
Dr Jyothish George, specialist dermatologist at Prime Hospital
In the UAE, don’t we all love a refreshing morning shower to prep us for the day’s work, and a warm one at night to relax, especially if you were outdoors, before sleep? But if your shower elongates into a half an hour indulgent experience, complete with steam and ambient music, it’s time to rethink as your skin may take the brunt of it – drying out.
The trick is to spend less time in the shower, and stay away from hot water. Dr Roncaglia says, “Replace soap with a gentle wash and have quicker showers with mildly warm water.” That way, you can have your necessary two showers without harming your skin, provided of course – that you carry out the next step – hydration.
If it hadn’t been taught as essential from an early age, you might have omitted daily body cream after showers for years.
For me personally, it was studying a Friday article perhaps in 2014, home for a holiday when studying in Rajasthan, India, that kick-started my own body moisturising routine. The writer spoke about devotedly moisturising their skin from the age of 13 – and suddenly I was conscious – I was older, had no serious body skincare routine to speak of and certainly did not want cracked skin from not moisturising since the age of 13.
After some research for pared-down moisturisers, I used a local recipe of one part glycerine and four parts rosewater mixed in a dispenser bottle, which, layered with body butter during the winters did the job well.
Basic steps for full body skin routine is the use of moisturizers daily after shower on the whole body and sunscreen on sun exposed areas before going outdoors.
Dr Suzana Borba Roncaglia, Brazilian board-certified specialist dermatologist at Abu Dhabi-based Sno Bodyworx, and Healthbay Clinic, Dubai
Hydration is fundamental to the healthy skin you wish for – reducing extreme dryness and oiliness, which can lead to other skin problems. It is especially important right after showers as your body oils are washed off, not to mention the incoming winter months.
Dr Roncaglia says, “Basic steps for full body skin routine is the use of moisturizers daily after shower on the whole body and sunscreen on sun exposed areas before going outdoors.”
Dr George adds, “A skincare routine would also include regular and adequate hydration and nutritious food intake.“
Some of today’s myriad hydration options include:
To avoid tech neck, chalky elbows and more, slather these on liberally after a shower depending on the weather, and your skin requirements for your best body care routine. During humid summers, lighter formulas such as body lotions can work well – especially if your skin is not overly dry, and colder, windier times require more intensely hydrating creams.
If you’ve undergone a particularly harsh outdoors day, perhaps dunked in saltwater and sun at the beach – you can even opt for luxuriating in a sheet mask for the body. What’s that, you ask? Face sheet masks actually also have options for hands, feet, neck and even belly skin during pregnancy.
Pandemic skin care
Washing hands more than 10 times a day, and sanitising often has been normalised during the pandemic, especially for frontline healthcare workers. In fact, a 2020 study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatologists noted an increased prevalence of hand eczema and scaling due to frequent hand hygiene practices that affects your skin’s surface fats. To offset this, keep a hand cream on your work desk or next to your handwash in your bathroom. Keep an extra one in your bag or purse when outside, and take a few seconds to apply every time you wash your hands. According to the study, it is important to let your hand sanitisers dry before applying hand cream, and don’t wash your hands before or just after sanitiser application as this can cause them to penetrate deeper into your skin.
Navigating this can be a bit tricky. While body exfoliation is often touted online as the ultimate secret to smooth, glowing skin, in reality it depends on a number of factors – such as your skin type, how often you shower and the weather. And unlike colder parts of the world, twice a day showers with cleansing soap are the norm in the UAE.
Dr Roncaglia says, “As a dermatologist, I can never recommend exfoliating the body.
“It removes the outer layer of the skin, which works as a protection, leaving the skin more prone to environmental damage. Our outer layer naturally sheds after they finish their life cycle being replaced by new cells (keratinocytes).”
As a dermatologist, I can never recommend exfoliating the body. It removes the outer layer of the skin which works as a protection, leaving the skin more prone to environmental damage.
Dr Suzana Borba Roncaglia, Brazilian board-certified specialist dermatologist at Abu Dhabi-based Sno Bodyworx, and Healthbay Clinic, Dubai
Moroever, if you have regular hair removal practices such as shaving and waxing in your routine, that can also count as exfoliation – and you wouldn’t want to overdo it, as that can cause dryness and irritation from compromised skin barriers, says Dr George.
If you are interested in trying it, especially if you notice buildup on skin, begin with using a loofah, brush or body scrub once a week, perhaps before a shave, to see how your skin reacts. If you see any sensitivity, dryness or irritation, stop usage. Dr George recommends a maximum of two TO three times a week for healthy skin.
If you have skin with breakouts, sensitive, fragile or thin skin, do not exfoliate – consult a dermatologist as chemical exfoliants may be recommended in some cases.
The never-ending battle. Shaving gives unfairly short-lived results, waxing can be extremely painful and sooner or later, new hair will poke through and the ordeal repeats. Not to mention the risks of hot wax, cuts, ingrown hairs and more.
Dr Roncaglia says, “Shaving and waxing are both okay if they are not causing ingrown hairs. In some patients, they can cause a lot of ingrown hairs and subsequent folliculitis (pimples). Epecially waxing - in that case, avoid waxing, and instead shave or do laser for permanent hair removal.”
Shaving Dos and Don’ts
Shaving removes the hair follicle from the surface of the skin and leaves the root intact.
Waxing Dos and Don’ts
Waxing pulls the hair out, including the root and results can last for a few weeks.
The bottom line? Dr George says, “It’s worth experimenting with both shaving and waxing to find out what method you prefer and maybe even look into laser hair removal.”
Your hair type, skin type and area that you’d like to remove hair from can affect your decision with regards to your hair removal practices. As long as you undertake proper care, moisturise and pay attention to your skin, it is up to your preference.
The step that crowns every skincare routine – SPF. Your body skin is just as vulnerable to skin damage as your facial skin and SPF is a must for all exposed areas of skin. If you are indoors but near a window, you would also need to reapply every couple of hours or so – read more here about all the ways you can protect your body skin from UV (ultraviolet) damage.
With specifically tailored face routines that suit your oily, combination, dry or normal skin types, you might be wondering whether the skin on your body mirrors that of your face.
The simple answer is no, Dr Roncaglia says: “It varies but not as much as on the face.” The range includes normal skin and dry to very dry skin especially for those with a family history of eczema. With body skin actually, the main concern is having eczema or allergy-prone skin, also called atopic skin.
Dr Roncaglia adds: “They suffer more with environment hazards and should have extra care with their skin.”
Dr Roncaglia says, “It varies with age. People with atopic skin have eczemas in different parts of the body according to the age group.
“In babies it tends to be on the cheeks, neck and trunk. In pre-schoolers it gets more intense on the creases - arm and knee folds. In adults it tends to be worse around the eyes, neck and forearms. But that’s not a rule and eczemas can appear all over the body if they are a more severe form.”
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The first four weeks of the Ravens’ season were not normal.
In their two double-digit road wins, they beat up on franchise icon turned New York Jets starter Joe Flacco and needed three fourth-quarter takeaways to hold off the New England Patriots. In their two narrow home losses, they watched the Miami Dolphins outscore them 28-3 in the fourth quarter and the Buffalo Bills take their first lead on a last-second field goal.
As the Ravens’ first prime-time test of the season nears, a “Sunday Night Football” showdown in Baltimore against the defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals, the team has impressed seemingly as often as it’s confounded. Almost a quarter into the season, here’s what Baltimore Sun reporters Childs Walker and Jonas Shaffer and editor C.J. Doon make of the Ravens’ 2-2 start.
Walker: Better than it feels coming off another blown lead at home. Fans are despondent given the nature of the Ravens’ two losses, but plenty has gone right for this team. Their offense, led by Most Valuable Player candidate Lamar Jackson, is one of the best in the league. Their defense has created 10 turnovers through four games after creating 15 all of last season. They’re third in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, which measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent. They’re in a three-way tie atop the AFC North, so it’s not as if they’re buried in the standings. So call it a B or B- despite the frustrated vibes around their loss to the Bills.
Shaffer: Maybe a C+, but that’s as much a reflection of the teams they’ve lost to as the players they’ve lost or missed. Cornerback Kyle Fuller’s absence has loomed large at times. So has left tackle Ja’Wuan James’. The outside linebacker group is already riddled with injuries. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley, running back Gus Edwards and outside linebacker Tyus Bowser still aren’t back. When training camp started, the hope was that the Ravens’ depth at key positions would be fortified by Week 1. It wasn’t. And when the Ravens took big leads against the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, the expectation was that they’d hold on. They didn’t. Things could be worse, but they could also be a whole lot better.
Doon: A solid B. Those blown leads against Miami and Buffalo are tough to swallow, but did anyone think the Ravens would have the league’s most efficient passing attack by Week 5? Even the defense, which has rightly been criticized for its inability to make critical stops, is playing closer to league average (16th in DVOA) than the total yards (425) and points (25) allowed per game suggest. The Ravens are surely disappointed to be 2-2, but 15 teams are .500. There’s no reason to panic.
Walker: Stanley is the most important player who has yet to return, but the Ravens’ pass protection has been serviceable without him. So let’s go with Bowser, whose versatility was so important to their defense in 2020 and 2021. The Ravens have asked a lot of Odafe Oweh, Justin Houston and, most recently, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Bowser will take stress off all of them. More importantly, he will provide defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald an important chess piece in the pass rush and in coverage. It’s not as if the Ravens will be an entirely different team with Stanley and Bowser on the field, but they won’t be so thin at some of the most important positions in the sport, which will make a difference over the long haul of the season.
Shaffer: Ravens coaches have said that Stanley is in the best shape of his career. If his surgically repaired left ankle cooperates, the trickle-down benefits of getting an elite athlete and an elite technician back at an essential position could be enormous. Patrick Mekari’s a reliable pass protector, but he doesn’t have the size to knock defenders off the line or the athleticism to threaten second-level defenders as a puller. Daniel Faalele has people-moving size, but as a rookie who’s played most of his career at right tackle, he’s still learning how to keep star pass rushers off Jackson’s blind side. A healthy, confident Stanley would open up coordinator Greg Roman’s playbook and expand the offense’s margin for error. When he first hurt his ankle in 2020, Stanley was one of the NFL’s best pass-protecting and run-blocking tackles.
Doon: The Ravens have missed having a big, bruising running back to complement Jackson’s speed. Think about their struggles in short-yardage situations this season — getting stopped at the goal line against Miami, failing to convert a fourth-and-1 to ice the game against the Dolphins, coming up empty on three plays inside the 5 on their final drive against Buffalo. If running back Gus Edwards has the same burst he showed in his first three seasons, when he averaged 5.2 yards per carry, this rushing attack should become a lot more dangerous.
Walker: Devin Duvernay wins happiest surprise. We knew he was an elite returner, but he has exceeded all expectations as a No. 2 wide receiver, catching 12 of 13 passes thrown his way, three of them for touchdowns. He has been more reliable than No. 1 receiver Rashod Bateman.
Patrick Queen is an easy choice for biggest disappointment. Macdonald has trusted him to play almost every down, but the 2020 first-round pick simply has not progressed enough in coverage or as a sturdy run defender. He makes the occasional big play as a pass rusher, but the Ravens were looking for far more from him.
Shaffer: How about some love for Justin Madubuike? He’s 11th in the NFL in quarterback pressures among interior defensive linemen (11), according to Pro Football Focus, tied with established stars like the Indianapolis Colts’ DeForest Buckner and teammate Calais Campbell. The 2020 third-round pick has 1 1/2 sacks, four tackles for loss and three quarterback hits in four games, putting him on pace to more than double his career totals in each category.
Unfortunately for Macdonald, bright spots in his defense have been hard to find. Players raved about his scheme and his teaching ability this offseason, and it wasn’t hard to imagine his successes at Michigan — especially with the pass rush — and his ties to Baltimore — especially at linebacker — paying off early. Instead, there have been growing pains. Some of the Ravens’ young talents have struggled, and the defense is 29th in the NFL in yards allowed per play (6.2). Takeaways have helped paper over some of the unit’s issues, but that’s not a reliable recipe for success.
Doon: Michael Pierce was Pro Football Focus’ sixth-highest graded interior defender before he suffered a season-ending torn biceps, so he deserves mention as most pleasant surprise. After he missed most of the last two seasons in Minnesota, nobody knew what to expect from the 355-pound veteran. Houston has also looked ageless, recording two sacks and eight pressures in four games.
The biggest disappointment, and perhaps the most surprising, is Oweh. He looked poised for a breakout season in training camp, and while there’s still plenty of time for him to make his mark, the second-year outside linebacker has just one sack while grading poorly as a run defender. The Ravens’ defense needs much more from him.
Walker: They’re struggling to finish games because they can’t run the ball reliably or get to the opposing passer on key defensive possessions. The running game will probably round into better form as J.K. Dobbins continues to recover from a brutal knee injury and Edwards nears a comeback from his torn ACL. The pass rush also has potential, given that the Ravens will get Bowser and Houston back, with second-round pick David Ojabo a candidate to join them late in the season. But they have not been as creative with their blitzes under Macdonald, and they’re near the bottom of the league in pressure rate, according to Pro Football Reference.
Shaffer: If Bateman’s foot injury sidelines him for more than a game or two, the Ravens’ passing game will be on thin ice. Duvernay’s been a revelation as a complementary wide receiver, and tight end Mark Andrews essentially functions as a wideout, but there’s not a lot of reliable pieces beyond that. The most pressing issue, though, remains the pass rush, especially off the edge. If Macdonald’s hope is to confuse quarterbacks with late safety rotations and disguised coverages, he needs a defensive front that can bother quarterbacks with just a four-man rush. Bowser’s return should be a boon to the overworked Oweh, but neither’s a certified star.
Doon: Is it fair to say overall roster depth? According to Pro Football Focus, only the 49ers and Buccaneers have lost more wins above replacement (WAR) to injury, excluding quarterbacks, this season. It only took three games for the Ravens to thrust rookie fourth-round pick Faalele into the starting lineup at left tackle, a position he never played in college. Pierre-Paul played nearly 86% of the snaps against Buffalo just days after being officially signed. The Ravens are expected to get reinforcements soon, but they could ill-afford another setback.
Walker: Slightly better, because the Bengals have not built an early lead on them. We could flip that on its head and say the Ravens should kick themselves for not capitalizing on their golden chances to build a cushion with wins over the Dolphins and Bills. But they have played better than the other teams in the division, and as long as Jackson stays upright, there’s every reason to believe they’ll stay at the top. The Ravens have the easiest remaining schedule in the AFC North, according to Football Outsiders, so it’s not as if the Bengals or Cleveland Browns will gain an advantage that way.
Shaffer: Slightly worse. They haven’t separated themselves from the Bengals, whose Week 2 loss to the Dak Prescott-less Dallas Cowboys suddenly looks a lot more understandable. Cleveland has a strong ground game powering a better-than-expected offense, along with a talented defense that should stabilize before long. The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t face the Ravens until Week 14, by which point outside linebacker J.J. Watt should be healthy and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett could be competent. But if the Ravens win Sunday and beat Cleveland in Week 7, it’d be their division to lose.
Doon: Better. Have you looked at the standings? The Browns are 2-2 with losses to the Jets and Falcons. The Steelers are 1-3 and turning to a rookie first-round pick at quarterback. The Bengals have won two straight but are still struggling to protect quarterback Joe Burrow, allowing 16 sacks in four games. We know Cincinnati is talented enough to repeat as division champion, but the early cracks might be the first sign of some expected regression.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
TV: Chs. 11, 4
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Line: Ravens by 3
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Maryland State Police said Friday that they are still waiting for blood test results from a school bus driver whose bus crashed near Liberty High School Sept. 15. Results will likely take three to six months to be returned to Westminster from a state lab, according to a state police spokesperson.
Once blood test results are received, police will confer with the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if charges should be filed against Tammy J. Frock, 54, of Westminster, a driver for Johnson Bus Service, LLC, of Westminster, which contracts with Carroll County Public Schools.
Police said that since there were no fatalities in the crash, the blood tests and a decision by the state’s attorney could take months.
Frock was arrested Sept. 15 at the scene of the bus crash after state troopers said they observed signs of intoxication. She was released from custody that day, according to police.
A representative with Johnson Bus Service said Friday that Frock is not driving for the company because the case is still under investigation by the state police. Carey Gaddis, communications officer for CCPS, stated in an email Friday that Frock is not driving for the school system and will not be coming back to work.
Police said the 2016 school bus that Frock was driving at about 2 p.m., Sept. 15 went off the right side of the road and hit power poles on Route 32 north of Bartholow Road in Eldersburg. Damage to the poles and power lines was severe.
No students were on the bus at the time of the crash, according to state police.
CCPS bus drivers are employees of independent bus contractors and are certified to drive a school bus by the school system based on Maryland Department of Transportation regulations. All CCPS-certified drivers must complete background checks, including a preemployment physical with drug and alcohol screening. Drivers must submit to random drug and alcohol testing by Carroll Occupational Health, according to Gaddis.