BALTIMORE -- Steve McNair's most frustrating NFL season is over.
The Baltimore Ravens put the quarterback on injured reserve Monday, ending a season in which the 34-year-old McNair struggled to stay healthy and hold onto the football.
He will have surgery on his non-throwing (left) shoulder Tuesday, the team announced.
McNair played in six games this season, throwing only two touchdown passes compared to four interceptions. He also fumbled eight times, losing seven - one reason why the Ravens were 4-7 entering Monday night's game against New England.
McNair started the year with hopes of building on his first season with the Ravens, when he played in all 16 games, threw 16 touchdowns passes and led Baltimore to a 13-3 record and a berth in the playoffs.
But he hurt his groin on the second play of the season and never completely recovered. He was replaced by Kyle Boller in the opener at Cincinnati, was held out of Baltimore's second game and returned to play for three straight weeks before being slowed by a back injury.
Ravens coach Brian Billick held McNair out for two weeks before the team's bye on Oct. 28, hoping the rest would enable his ailing body to heal. But the quarterback was ineffective upon his return: He lost two fumbles and threw an interception in a 38-7 defeat at Pittsburgh, then threw for only 128 yards before being replaced in the fourth quarter of a 21-7 loss to Cincinnati.
It turned out to be his last game of the season.
In the days leading up to that game, McNair, a four-time Pro Bowler and 2003 NFL co-MVP, reacted defiantly to criticism he had received from the media and fans.
"Look what kind career I've had. I don't let people tell me, outside this organization, I'm not capable of playing or I don't need to be playing," he said. "For what? They ain't never played the position of the quarterback. They never go through the things I go through, mentally or physically. How are you going to tell me I'm not able to play? I know what my body can do. My teammates know what my body can do, and I know what I can do on the field."
"Right now, my turnovers have been killing this team," he said. "I don't know what the coaches are going to decide. If they decide to go with Kyle, that's fine. I'll probably agree with them."
The Ravens filled McNair's roster spot by signing kicker Rhys Lloyd to the 53-man roster from their practice squad.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press