Joe Flacco may have the starting Raven's QB job by the throat—Troy Smith's throat.

Joe Flacco may have the starting Raven's QB job by the throat—Troy Smith's throat.
Troy Smith

Joe Flacco may have the starting Raven's QB job by the throat—Troy Smith's throat.

Troy Smith is out with an illness—a serious case of tonsillitis.  Kyle Boller is dealing with a bad shoulder injury (some say as well as a bad passing arm).  Head coach John Harbaugh is looking for a few good men—one healthy QB would do.

By Bill Smith

Flacco is the Last Man Standing

By far, the starting QB was the most important pre-season decision John Harbaugh faced in his first year. But he won't make the decision because Joe Flacco is the only QB that is healthy enough to play in the first game against the Bengals on Sunday. Boller was placed on IR this week and he is no longer a candidate.

Serious Illness

Some may scoff at a pro player getting benched by a childhood illness but for adults, the infections that accompany tonsillitis can be very serious.  Smith could miss at least a couple of weeks. He too is a candidate for the Injured Reserve list if it extends beyond that. He has lost 20 pounds since coming down with the illness two weeks ago.  He must regain his strength.  Based on the problems with injuries along the O-line the Ravens have suffered this year, Smith would be the better candidate.  He is far more mobile than Flacco and has outperformed both of the other candidates in the pre-season.

Mobility is Key

The Ravens were impressed by the way Flacco responded in his first start Saturday, when he went 18-for-37 for 152 yards and a touchdown.   There are unconfirmed and conflicting reports that the Ravens have signed Joey Harrington to provide backup until Smith is healthy.  With a line that may have to use the 4th string LT, the Ravens had better hope Smith recovers and still sign another backup soon.


Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent.  He is a senior writer for  He has also published several novels on and edits
Tags: Buckeyes Football NFL Ohio State

blog comments powered by Disqus


Holabird Sports

Ohio State 2018 Football Schedule

Sep. 1 Oregon State Beavers
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH Noon ET

Sep. 8 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH 3:30pm ET

Sep. 15 at TCU Horned Frogs
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Sep. 22 Tulane Green Wave
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

Sep. 29 at Penn State Nittany Lions
Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

Oct. 6 Indiana Hoosiers (HC)
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH 3:30/4pm ET

Oct. 13 Minnesota Golden Gophers
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

Oct. 20 at Purdue Boilermakers
Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN

Nov. 3 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH Time 12:00pm
Buy Tickets

Nov. 10 at Michigan State Spartans
Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI Time TBA
Buy Tickets

Nov. 17 at Maryland Terrapins
Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD Time TBA
Buy Tickets

Nov. 24 Michigan Wolverines
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH Noon ET
Buy Tickets

Dec. 1 Big Ten Championship Game
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN 8:00pm ET
Buy Tickets