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Cowboys will vary pressure

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Cowboys will vary pressure

The Dallas Cowboys probably will have outside linebacker Anthony Spencer for Sunday's game at the Ravens, which bodes well for their fourth-ranked defense.

Spencer had limited participation in practice Thursday because of a pulled pectoral muscle, but he said, according to the Dallas Morning News: "I'm good. I'm playing."

Spencer is concerned about re-injuring himself and admitted that he's "still a little sore," but he's a valuable asset for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Spencer has nine pressures on the quarterback which leads the team.

The Ravens have had issues protecting quarterback Joe Flacco in the last two weeks, allowing eight total sacks against the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.

"We’re all hopeful that Spence can play and will get healthier and healthier as the week goes on," coach Jason Garrett said, according to the Morning News.

Nose tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) and defensive tackle Marcus Spears (knee) participated fully in practice Thursday. So did linebacker Alex Albright (neck), defensive tackle Kenyon Coleman (knee), safety Matt Johnson (hamstring), center Phil Costa (back) and receiver Miles Austin (hamstring).

The Ravens don't sound too concerned about Ryan's defense, but they're preparing for a few wrinkles. They have two young offensive linemen in rookie right tackle Kelechi Osemele and left guard Ramon Harewood, who is in his third season but first as a starter and has limited experience.

"They probably play more fronts, more coverages than any team we've faced at this point," Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said Thursday. "The good news is we see a lot of that in practice every day in our defense and have since we've been here....

"They are coming off a bye. They had a little extra time. I'm sure they are tweaking things that they are doing, and then they have some things that we'll have to adjust to."

That's in line with Ravens coach John Harbaugh sees from Dallas.

"They run a lot of stunts up front. ... They run a lot of pressures. They mix the pressures," he said. "You really don't get the same pressures from one week to the next. And they mix the coverages behind the pressures. It's a package that we're familiar with. We've seen it."

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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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