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With one quarter of season done, Ravens have work to do

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With one quarter of season done, Ravens have work to do

The Ravens (1-3) are already one-quarter through their season. So despite Thursday night’s dramatic victory in Pittsburgh, they need to make up ground in the second quarter of their schedule.

Let’s look ahead to the Ravens’ next four games:

Week 5 - Oct. 11 vs. Browns (1-2) at M&T Bank Stadium

Week 6 - Oct. 18 at 49ers (1-2)

Week 7 - Oct. 26 (Monday night) at Cardinals (3-0)

Week 8 - Nov. 1 vs. Chargers (1-2) at M&T

The Ravens can’t afford to lose both games out West, as they did last month at Denver and at Oakland. This time, they have decided to return home between games, but that means logging plenty of miles over those two weeks.

The Ravens would have loved to escape the first four games no worse than 2-2.  Realistically, they knew playing five of their first seven on the road would make it very difficult to start fast. But they never envisioned losing their first three. They didn’t anticipate losing linebacker Terrell Suggs for the season in Game 1. And after Breshad Perriman looked so impressive minicamps, they didn’t expect Perriman’s knee injury on the first day of training camp to keep him out so long.

That’s why every player in the locker room Thursday night was elated to get victory No. 1. It has already been a long season for the Ravens, just four games in.

“There’s really not that much in the world, at least in my life, that compares to winning a game in the National Football League,” said quarterback Joe Flacco.

Now comes the challenge of winning some more. But Thursday night, the Ravens showed they still have the will to win, despite not having the record they want.

“This team has a lot of fight,” said wide receiver Kamar Aiken. “We won’t give up. That’s one thing that Ravens don’t do. We’re going to grind it out, all the way to the end.”

[RELATED: Ravens' top draft pick undergoes knee surgery]

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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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