Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

Ravens CB dies a day after dirt bike crash

BALTIMORE — Ravens cornerback Tray Walker, who played one season in the NFL, died Friday of injuries from a dirt bike crash in Miami.

His godmother confirmed the 23-year-old Walker's death, according to the Ravens.

Walker was riding a Honda dirt bike with no lights and wearing dark clothing when he collided with a Ford Escape on Thursday night, Miami-Dade Police said. He had been in Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

A fourth-round 2015 draft pick, Walker played in eight games last season, mostly on special teams.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh wrote a heart-felt letter to his players Friday before Walker died. Later, in a statement, Harbaugh said, "Tray was a young man with a good and kind heart. He was humble and loved everything about being part of the Ravens' team. He loved his teammates — the practice and the preparation — and that showed every day. I'll never forget that smile."

General manager Ozzie Newsome, who drafted Walker, said, "Tray was one of the most humble persons we brought in for a pre-draft visit. That was striking. After we drafted him, he and his family were so excited to receive the call that he was about to become a Raven."

Walker made a lasting impression on those around him.

"Tray was a young man who was full of energy and promise," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "This is very hard to wrap my head around, and I am devastated."

Walker played high school football at Miami Northwestern High.

"Tray had a hard shell," cornerback Jimmy Smith said, "but once you broke through that, you found a person who was learning how to become a man and was so eager to be a great person and professional."

"We have two sons not too much older than Tray, and we can't imagine how much his family is suffering," team owner Steve Bisciotti said. "This is so sad. As much as we can comfort Tray's mom and the rest of his family, we will."

COLTS TO HONOR MANNING: Colts owner Jim Irsay said the team will retire Peyton Manning's No. 18 and build a statue of the record-setting quarterback outside Lucas Oil Stadium. Less than two weeks after announcing his retirement in Denver, Manning returned to his first NFL home to thank supporters. Fans — some in Colts blue and white, others in Broncos orange and blue — stood outside the team's complex.

COWBOYS: Defensive end Benson Mayowa, a restricted free agent, reportedly signed an offer sheet. The Raiders have five days to match the three-year, $8.55 million deal.

FALCONS: Owner Arthur Blank opposes a bill approved by the Georgia Legislature that protects opponents of same-sex marriage, a measure that could impact Atlanta's bid to host the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowl. Tampa, Miami and New Orleans are the other finalists. The NFL says state law can be a factor for owners determining Super Bowl locations.

NFLPA: Eric Winston was re-elected president of the NFL Players Association. The Bengals offensive tackle ran unopposed for his second consecutive two-year term. The labor organization for players is headed by executive director DeMaurice Smith.

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