Boller likely to step up in the pocket

Stiff back could keep McNair out vs. Bills

Ravens 22 Rams 3

Ravens Gameday

October 15, 2007|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN REPORTER

Ravens quarterback Steve McNair is "unlikely" to start Sunday's road game against the Buffalo Bills, coach Brian Billick said.

McNair was sidelined with a back injury for yesterday's 22-3 win over the St. Louis Rams.

If he doesn't play against the Bills, McNair would get two more weeks to rest because the Ravens have a bye after that game.

"It's in our best interest to come back after the bye with Steve fully healthy," Billick said. "I don't know that we're going to do that in just one week's time."

McNair, who served as the Ravens' backup yesterday, has been battling injuries all season.

He strained his groin in the first quarter of the season opener and was just getting close to full strength. But he complained of a stiff back Thursday - which could have been the result of him overcompensating for the injured groin on his throws - and did not practice the rest of the week.

Boller, who is 2-0 as the starter this season, replaced McNair and completed 18 of 30 passes for 184 yards. He had one interception and no touchdowns.

Asked about Boller's performance, Billick said: "I have to look at it [on tape], but we won, so it can't be too bad."

Boller said knowing that he will start the next game is "huge."

"The biggest thing about knowing you're going to play is getting that timing down with the receivers," he said.

The Ravens are trying to get McNair healthy so they can stop the constant rotation at the quarterback position. McNair has started and finished only two games this season.

Said Billick: "If we can come out of the bye with [McNair] fully healthy, we have a chance to be pretty good."

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