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Boller's Unfortunate Injury


With the Ravens one day removed from placing Kyle Boller on Injured Reserve, his teammates and coaches mourned the end of what could have been a promising season.

Amid a three-way race to the Ravens' starting quarterback spot, a simple shoulder injury derailed Boller's bid.

But, the six-year veteran was determined to earn that position back this year after starting 42 contests since being drafted in 2003 (19th overall). Boller was a regular fixture at team headquarters in Owings Mills, Md., relentlessly working out and tackling offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's playbook.

"I've been fortunate to be around a lot of quality guys that were also quality workers, and I haven't been around any quarterback that worked harder than Kyle did this offseason," said Cameron Thursday. "You feel for Kyle. It's kind of emotional for me because you see the sacrifices he made for all of us.

"He'll get through it."

Many considered Boller to be the front-runner against Troy Smith and rookie Joe Flacco entering training camp. He started the Ravens' first preseason game against the New England Patriots, going 11-of-15 for 102 yards and an interception.

The following week, Boller was injured in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota Vikings game.

"Everybody goes through injuries," said tight end Todd Heap, one of Boller's close friends. "He's going to have to battle back from this one. It's going to be a little while before he can get into the rehab and get back to being healthy."

Known as one of the toughest players in the locker room during his five years with the Ravens, Boller tallied a franchise-record 7,846 yards by completing 60 percent of his throws, tossed 45 touchdowns and 44 interceptions.

And even in defeat, Boller was always quick to own up to his mistakes.

"No question [it is disappointing to lose Boller]," said Heap. "But, injuries are part of the game. Everybody goes through them. It's frustrating, knowing how much time he put in this offseason, knowing how much time he's put in up to this point.

"That's the most frustrating part, getting to see him and talk to him about it and know his feelings about it."

While fans in Baltimore ran hot and cold with Boller, he treated them well in homestands at M&T Bank Stadium, where he went 15-7 as a starter, including eight of the last 12 home contests. Boller also connected on 612 of his 361 attempts for 23 scores and only 16 picks.

Some of his most memorable games came at M&T Bank Stadium.

On Dec. 19, 2005, Boller torched the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night football, throwing for 253 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 19 of 27 passes (70.4 percent) and boasted a career-best 136.8 passer rating.

The next week, the California native earned FedEx Air Player of the Week honors with a personal-best 70.6 completion percentage, hitting on 24 of 34 attempts for 289 yards, three scores and one interception against the Minnesota Vikings.

In 2004, Boller went 18-of-34 for 219 yards and a career-high four touchdowns against the New York Giants during Week 14, hitting both Heap and wideout Clarence Moore twice in the end zone.

Entering an open competition to gain the starting job a second time, Boller was hoping to regain that spark with a strong march to the top of the depth chart. He knew he could only do it with fierce devotion to his offseason training.

"We all wanted him to do well, and he was doing well," Cameron stated. "There's no one that worked harder in this organization getting ready to help this team win than Kyle Boller.

"I think you could get every guy in the building to back that up."

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