Marathon bombings create bond between Ray Rice, Ravens fans

Three Boston Marathon bombing survivors were touched when an NFL superstar reached out in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Little did anyone know that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice would draw life-changing inspiration of his own while helping them.

In an in-depth report by NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Rice was immediately affected when he saw the bombings near the end of the marathon course.

He also felt a connection with one of the victims, Paul Norden, who became a fan of the Ravens running back when Rice was drafted by Baltimore out of Rutgers -- despite the fact that Norden lived in a Boston suburb.

Norden, his girlfriend and his brother decided to meet friends at the marathon that day. However, they were near the second explosions when they went off, leaving all of them injured. Jacqui's leg was filled with shrapnel and her back with burns, but Paul and JP lost a leg.

The events touched Rice deeply, especially when he found out Paul was a devoted Ravens fan.

The bond between Rice and the three went deeper with Rice inviting them to Ravens camp. Rice's kindness has helped them return to as normal a life as they can lead.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor

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