The former Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State was in line to be the next starting quarterback for the Ravens, taking over a position that Kyle Boller had struggled with and hopefully improve the team's weakest link. That plan hid the skids when Smith was diagnosed with a severe case of tonsillitis and had a blood clot in his neck to boot.
"This is extraordinarily unlucky," said Dr. Andrew Tucker, the Ravens' head physician. "It a rare complication of a very severe tonsil infection."Now 20 pounds lighter, Smith has been cleared to practice with the team for the first time since August 22. The good news is it doesn't appear he will miss the entire season, which would make him the second quarterback to be placed in injured reserve for the Ravens after Boller.
Coach John Harbaugh indicated the Ravens don't plan to place Smith on injured reserve, which would end his season.Rookie Joe Flacco, who impressed in his first NFL start against the Bengals, will again be the main man against the Browns on Sunday. Todd Bouman and Casey Bramlet are both behind Flacco on the depth chart as of now for the Ravens.
"We're pretty certain that he's going to be back playing for the bulk of the season," Harbaugh said.