This Ball So Hard University thing has taken on a life of its own.
Linebacker Terrell Suggs was walking around the locker room today with a full-sized diploma indicating that he had received a doctorate from his fictitious university, which he made up a few weeks ago during his pregame introduction on "Sunday Night Football."
Asked by a team official where he'd gotten the diploma, Suggs replied that he had no idea, which I took to mean that it was shipped to him by a fan. Players often have t-shirts and various gifts sent to them by fans with disposable income/time.
I only saw the "doctorate" very briefly, but it looked legit. It was framed and set on a mat and everything. Suggs says he plans to hang the coolest diploma in the history of diplomas in his office.
While Suggs was busy showing off his new gift, cornerback Chris Carr was on the other end of the locker room doing what he often does on Fridays - dunking a football over unsuspecting reporters' heads.
Carr's favorite Friday pastime had been put on hold the last few weeks because of a back injury (you can't throw down intense alley-oops when you aren't able to practice), but after participating in practice every day this week, Carr was back doing his best Dwight Howard impression today.
The veteran cornerback - who has been limited to just six games played this season because of various injuries - revealed that he suffered a bulging disc in his back a few weeks ago, causing him to miss the Ravens' last three games. Carr said the back has made slow progress over that time, however, and he expects to return to action Sunday night against the Chargers.
"It feels good," Carr said. "It's been a frustrating year injury-wise, especially when you've never had to deal with them before. It's been trying. But it definitely feels good being out there and practicing. For my back to hold up, having a bulging disk hurts pretty badly, so it held up well, so I'm pretty fortunate right now.
"With the pain that I had in my back, it's something I had never felt before. So it was definitely one of those things that I can't risk it, especially late in the season. I want to be on this team through this playoff run, so I just want to be healthy. It's held up great so far."
With fellow cornerback Lardarius Webb unlikely to play Sunday night, Carr's return is timely. He can help out in the secondary and also pick up the slack as the Ravens' punt returner - duties which Webb normally owns when healthy.
"I feel like I'm a versatile player, so whatever they want me to do, I can do," Carr said. "If they want me to go do returns and run down kickoffs and play nickel or corner, it doesn't matter to me."