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'Crucial' road stretch awaits

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'Crucial' road stretch awaits

The Ravens will quickly find out where they're heading when they come out of the bye week.

With an offense that produces just 15 points per game on the road where the Ravens are lucky to be 1-2, there's not any more time left to figure out things.

Three of their next four games are away from home.

They start with a Nov. 4 game at the Cleveland Browns, then road trips to the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers.

If they haven't come up with a plan to get quarterback Joe Flacco on track or how to stuff the run for this stretch, their season will be in peril.

"The games coming up, there are few of them that are must-wins. Every season you're going to have a couple games that are must-wins," linebacker Paul Kruger said. "We're at a point in the season where we're building our identity.

"This bye has come at a perfect time. We're going to get out bodies back, get our rest. It'll be easier to come back and get the excitement back."

The Browns have a rookie quarterback in Brandon Weeden, who threw for 320 yards in a 23-16 loss in Baltimore. It will be the Ravens' first road game in the AFC North.

"I don't know about the most difficult stretch but we take every game seriously," left guard Bobbie Williams said of a one-win Browns team that has lost several close games. "We're going to line them up and take them one at a time.

"We got Clevelend. In the division. On the road. That's crucial, period. If you want to get anywhere, it starts with the division. I would classify that as crucial."

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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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