Boller returns to practice, Suggs talks.

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Kyle Boller is only a few steps away from delivering spirals again in an actual football game. A starter for nine games until his torn quadriceps required surgery, Boller returned to practice Wednesday. He is expected to serve as the Ravens' third quarterback on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. "I'm a fast healer," said Boller, who was injured against the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 9. "I had set a goal.

This is the week of Oakland practice, so everything went according to plan. I wouldn't be going if I had stitches and my leg was still messed up." Boller went 5-4 as a starter before incurring the injury just above his knee in the first half against the Rams and being replaced by Chris Redman. The first-round draft pick completed 115 of his 223 passes for 1,250 yards, seven touchdowns, nine interceptions and a quarterback rating of 62.1. "What we have to guard against is not the knee, but he is going to be sore," 

Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We'll regulate it a little bit, but he is free to go. We are less concerned about the injury now rather than him doing too much and tweaking it." Veteran Anthony Wright has gone 3-1 as a starter and Billick has repeatedly stated that Wright will remain his quarterback as long as Baltimore remains in playoff contention. 

The Ravens (8-5) are in first place in the AFC North. "No, I really haven't talked about that," Boller said. "Regardless if I'm going to play or not going to play, I'm still going to prepare the same way." The rookie said his practice was uneventful and he was able to drop back normally in the pocket, not having lost much mobility. Barring an injury setback or a Ravens collapse, he could become Wright's backup ahead of Redman for the remainder of the regular season. "I'm very excited," Boller said. "I get a chance to play football again and throw the ball. It's frustrating having to watch." 

SUGGS RETURNS FROM ARIZONA: Rookie outside linebacker Terrell Suggs returned to practice and declined to detail his pending case for felony aggravated assault in Arizona. Suggs spent Monday and Tuesday in Arizona addressing a charge stemming from a fight that followed a March basketball game. "There's always two sides to every story," said Suggs, who leads the Ravens and all NFL rookies with 10 sacks. "Once I'm able to talk about it, I'll be happy to tell everyone in detail what happened. We're going on our December playoff run. I can't let something negative like this bring us down." 

Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, has portrayed his client as a "peace-maker" who was "cold-cocked" from behind with a metal bar. Authorities contend that Suggs was the aggressor. Suggs has a Jan. 20 court date for a preliminary hearing. "There are probably two or three or four sides to it," Billick said. "The process will take care of itself. He has proper representation. I'm sure the truth will come out." Suggs will start his first NFL game Sunday as outside linebacker Adalius Thomas (elbow surgery) is headed to injured reserve. "Adalius has got some really big shoes to fill," Suggs said. "I've got to carry the weight. It's time for me to jump in there and help my team win in more ways than just third down." 

R. LEWIS IS QUESTIONABLE: Linebacker Ray Lewis is listed as questionable on the injury report with a bruised right shoulder joint. It's not the shoulder that required season-ending surgery a year ago. "The prognosis is good," trainer Bill Tessendorf said. "It will be a day-to-day thing." Lewis indicated after practice that he's not overly concerned about his shoulder. 

ROSTER MOVES: Long snapper Mike Solwold was elevated to the active roster from the practice squad. He was offered a starting job by New England after the Patriots' long snapper got hurt. "New England was throwing some money at me, but I wanted to be here," Solwold said. "I've won a Super Bowl before in Tampa and I've got a good feeling about this team." Defensive end Nate Bolling, a preseason standout, was added to the practice squad. 

INJURY UPDATE: Listed as questionable, linebacker Cornell Brown (knee), return specialist Lamont Brightful (knee), offensive tackle Orlando Brown (chest) and fullback Alan Ricard (ankle) all said they anticipate playing against the Raiders. 

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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