Ravens QB Smith misses start due to illness

ST. LOUIS -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Troy Smith missed a scheduled start in Saturday night's preseason game against the Rams because of a viral illness.

Height: 6-0

Weight: 215

College: Ohio State

Experience: 1

Smith, the former Heisman Trophy winner who's battling incumbent Kyle Boller for the Ravens' quarterback spot, spent the game at the team hotel as the Ravens lost 24-10 to the Rams. Smith had been set to play as long as three quarters.

"He just couldn't do anything," coach John Harbaugh said. "It pushes us back. You had a hope or a thought that it could get answered tonight with Troy, but he didn't have an opportunity to prove that, so we're still looking to make that decision as we go."

Third-stringer Joe Flacco, the Ravens' first-rounder this year, played the entire game and failed to generate much until the second half while going 18-for-37 for 152 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. The Ravens couldn't capitalize on favorable field possession their first two drives.

The Ravens (1-2) played their starting offensive line at the start of the third quarter and Flacco produced a 75-yard scoring drive. Derrick Mason caught four passes for all but 14 of the yards, capped by a 15-yard touchdown catch that was the first touchdown against the Rams' first-string defense in the preseason.

"It was a really good chance for me to get in there and get my feet wet," Flacco said. "There were things I would have liked to have done better. It was a great learning experience."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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