Injured McNair to benefit from bye

Panthers 23 Ravens 21

Ravens Gameday

October 16, 2006|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun Reporter

Ravens quarterback Steve McNair was released yesterday from a nearby hospital after tests on his head and neck were negative.

He suffered a medium concussion and a neck sprain after taking a hit in the first quarter. It is expected that McNair will be ready to make his next start when the Ravens return from their bye and play the Saints in New Orleans on Oct. 29.

"I'm looking for him to be back with the extra week to recover," said receiver Derrick Mason, who has spent nine seasons with McNair.

McNair left yesterday's 23-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers on the Ravens' third series after getting hit in between defensive end Mike Rucker and middle linebacker Chris Draft.

After his X-rays at M&T Bank Stadium were negative, McNair was taken to Union Memorial Hospital for another X-ray, a CT scan on his neck and a magnetic resonance imaging test on his head. All tests were negative.

He was kept out of the game because of the concussion. He also had an abrasion on the back of his neck, team officials said.

When asked about the status of McNair, coach Brian Billick said, "I don't know. I'll leave that to the doctors."

In McNair's absence, Kyle Boller completed 17 of 31 passes for 226 yards. He threw three touchdown passes and one interception.

"With any backup quarterback, you don't get substantial reps. So for any level of productivity, that's a positive thing," Billick said. "I know he's excited about getting the opportunity to contribute to this team."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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