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Chiefs unhappy over fans cheering injury to Cassel

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Chiefs unhappy over fans cheering injury to Cassel

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Members of the Kansas City Chiefs angrily spoke out Sunday against thousands of fans who cheered when quarterback Matt Cassel left a 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a head injury.

Cassel has been the focus of frustrated fans for the past couple years, many of them booing him when he appeared during a celebrity softball game this summer. Some had even hired an airplane to fly over Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday with a banner asking for him to be benched.

The angst reached a tipping point when Cassel, who committed four turnovers against Baltimore, was hammered by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata while completing a pass in the fourth quarter.

Cassel remained on his back for several minutes while fans began to cheer. He eventually got to his feet with some help and walked off the field under his own power.

``It's 100-percent sickening,'' Chiefs tackle Eric Winston said. ``I've never, ever - and I've been in some rough times on some rough teams - I've never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there. I get emotional about it because these guys, they work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn't done anything to you people.

``Hey, if he's not the best quarterback, he's not the best quarterback, and that's OK, but he's a person,'' Winston continued, the big offensive lineman's voice slowly rising. ``And he got knocked out in a game and we've got 70,000 people cheering that he got knocked out.''

The Chiefs have only said that Cassel has a ``head injury,'' and coach Romeo Crennel said he wasn't sure whether he'd been taken to a hospital. Brady Quinn finished the game.

``We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Colosseum. This is a game,'' said Winston, who spoke to Cassel briefly in the locker room after the game. ``This is a game that's going to cost us a lot down the road. That's OK. We picked it. We deserve it. I don't want your pity. But we've got a lot of problems as a society if people think that's OK.''

Cassel was intercepted twice by the Ravens, though both passes were tipped. He was also hit with two lost fumbles, one of them on a pitch that was mishandled by running back Cyrus Gray and the other on a flubbed exchange with Kansas City facing first-and-goal at the Baltimore 1.

``It's not right, you know what I'm saying? I'll speak that for any stadium, any player to get hurt,'' said Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who missed most of last season with a torn ACL.

``When someone gets booed, it's not right. It's his health. You know what I'm saying? He got hurt. You have to respect,'' Charles said. ``It wasn't right that he got booed.''

Once a Pro Bowl quarterback, Cassel is completing just 58.5 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and nine interceptions. He's averaging just 6.5 yards per pass attempt.

``I knew I hit him hard, but I didn't think it was hard enough to take him out. I thought I hit him right in the ribs,'' Ngata said. ``Hopefully, he bounces back and gets better.''

As for the cheering? Even the Ravens thought it uncouth.

``For them to cheer for him being hurt,'' Ngata said, ``that's just not cool.''

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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