Rumor is that according to Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, Kyle Boller's injured shoulder will definitely keep him out of Thursday's final preseason contest against the Falcons and could also prevent him from being under consideration to be the Ravens starting QB for the season opener on September 7th versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
All this means is that either Troy Smith wins the QB Derby by default if he plays at the very least half decent this Thursday. Or, perhaps there will be a one week competition between Smith and rookie Joe Flacco for the starting nod. Smith is apparently over the intestinal virus that prevented him from even leaving his hotel room on Sarturday night, and missed the entire exhibition contest in St. Louis. Flacco was thrust into the emergency starting role after Boller could not even lift his arm above his shoulder. Since Smith was named the game's starter earlier in the week, he took all the snaps with the first team, while Flacco was an afterthought. Suddenly, with just a few hours notice, he had to be ready to play all four quarters by default, and although his stats were mediocre at best, he did not embarrass himself at all. He had a miserable first half but settled down in the second half to throw his first professional TD pass in leading the Ravens to their only touchdown of the night in their 24-10 loss. Most of all, he didn't turn the ball over once and just missed a couple of throws that might have made a big difference in the game. Overall, his performance, combined with Smith and Boller's health issues, only put his name back up on the board to still be in contention for the starting QB job.
The Ravens are the only remaining NFL team not to have already named their opening day starter. My thoughts are that if Troy Smith even plays a little bit better than Flacco this Thursday, then he will be in a better overall position to start the season under center. Boller's shoulder may not only take him out of the running for game one, but based on Flacco's progress, it may take him out of the Ravens picture altogether.
Much, much more to follow.