Boller may not need surgery, Bramlet added

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens received a mixed bag of news on the quarterback front Wednesday as team officials learned that former starter Kyle Boller will not immediately require surgery to repair a serious injury to his throwing shoulder.

While Boller is definitely out for tonight's preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium, the team is holding out hope that he might be able to return at some point this season.

The Ravens had been awaiting a second medical opinion after an initial magnetic resonance imaging exam was unfavorable, raising concerns internally that Boller might be out for the season. Now, the Ravens are crossing their fingers that he might return.

No timetable has been specified, though.

Since being bashed into the ground against the Minnesota Vikings, Boller has been favoring his shoulder and struggles to raise his right arm over his head. He was going to attempt to throw passes 20 yards and under this week in practice, but was later advised to not throw at all.

While jogging, Boller keeps his right arm as immobile as possible. His shoulder injury complicates the Ravens' already-unsettled quarterback situation as the team may need to add another quarterback as soon as the next few days.

Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco is slated to start tonight.

Quarterback Troy Smith, who has been stricken with an energy-sapping illness that includes symptoms of nausea and a swollen tonsil, is feeling better and may attempt to play a few snaps against the Falcons. He's considered to have a 50-percent chance of playing.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are adding former San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins quarterback Casey Bramlet, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound free agent who's expected to be in uniform tonight. Bramlet was recently cut by San Diego and played last season in Miami for Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Bramlet, who is also familiar with Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson after stints with the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals, was on his way to Baltimore on Wednesday night. He may even see action right away in relief of Flacco.

The Ravens also conducted exploratory calls regarding Miami Dolphins quarterback John Beck, a former Cameron second-round pick last year who may become available via trade or the waiver wire.

The Ravens cleared room for Bramlet by cutting kicker Piotr Czech.

NOTES: Several players aren't expected to play tonight besides Boller, including: cornerbacks Fabian Washington (hamstring), Chris McAlister (right knee) and Derrick Martin (right shoulder), nose guard Kelly Gregg (arthroscopic left knee surgery), running back Willis McGahee (arthroscopic left knee surgery), free safety Ed Reed (left shoulder) and wide receiver Marcus Smith (separated right shoulder). ... Players who might see action on a limited basis: Smith (illness), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained right medial collateral ligament), offensive tackle Jared Gaither (sprained right ankle) and wide receiver Demetrius Williams (left Achilles' tendon). The Ravens may also opt to rest several veterans as they prepare for a Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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