Rookie QB injured against Rams

Updated: November 10, 2003, 6:54 PM ET
Associated Press

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Kyle Boller probably will miss the rest of the season after injuring his left leg in Sunday night's loss to the St. Louis Rams.

Boller tore his quadriceps just above the knee in the second quarter of the Ravens' 33-22 defeat. The injury could require surgery, but even in a best-case scenario he would not be able to return until late December.

Ravens coach Brian Billick said Monday that Boller could be placed on injured reserve as soon as Tuesday. Chris Redman will start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins and Anthony Wright will move up the depth chart to No. 2.

Baltimore will sign a third quarterback this week, Billick said.

Boller hobbled around on crutches at the Ravens' training complex Monday, obviously upset over the snag in his development as an NFL quarterback.

"I'm sure he's very emotionally distraught right now," Billick said.

The injury occurred in the second quarter, either when Boller banged knees with Baltimore fullback Alan Ricard or upon being hit while rolling out toward the sideline.

"I don't even really remember the exact play," Boller said Sunday night.

Boller finished the half, but was replaced by Redman at the start of the third quarter with Baltimore trailing 21-19.

Playing in a regular-season game for the first time in 13 months, Redman struggled mightily against the Rams. He went 7-for-12 for 58 yards, threw two interceptions and fumbled twice.

"It was one of those times where everyone was already juiced up, and I was just trying to get juiced up," he said Monday. "Anytime you get the opportunity, you have to make the best of it. I kind of missed one last night."

Redman, drafted in the third round in 2000, played in only two games -- both as a backup -- during his first two seasons. He started six games last year, throwing seven touchdowns and just three interceptions before being sidelined by severe back spasms.

He competed against Boller for the starting job this summer, but Billick chose the rookie because of his arm strength and vast potential.

Boller, the 19th player selected in the 2003 draft, led the Ravens (5-4) into first place in the AFC North, but has nine interceptions compared to seven touchdown passes. His 62.1 quarterback rating is among the worst in the NFL.

But his teammates love his grit. Boller hurt his shoulder in a game against Cleveland last month, but played in pain and refused to be removed.

He had every intention of returning for the second half Sunday night until team doctors forced him out after noticing he couldn't put any weight on his left leg.

So it's Redman's job again -- at least for now. Given the opportunity to prepare with the first team this week, he expects better results Sunday in Miami.

"Just getting my timing back will help me tremendously," Redman said. "I'm kind of excited about getting to practice and getting back into the flow of things."

Redman fumbled the snap on his first play against the Rams and was sacked on his pass attempt. He began the next series by severely underthrowing tight end Todd Heap, who had broken free deep down the right sideline.

"The first pass to Todd, I just didn't really have the timing down. I took too many steps and threw it shorter than I anticipated," Redman said. "That kind of comes with practice. But there's no excuse. You have to go in there and make plays.

"I'm just real hungry for the next time I get out there. I know I can play. I'm not losing any confidence; it's just a matter of getting comfortable with everything again."

One reason Billick chose Boller as his starter was to allow the quarterback to learn firsthand about running an NFL team. Unfortunately, the educational process was cut short ahead of schedule.

"We're disappointed as an organization, disappointed as a team, and disappointed for the young man," Billick said. "He feels like he's let his team down, and he knows there are experiences that he's going to miss in the second half of the season."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press