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About last night, dear -- One more chance for Boller

We knew it was going to happen, we just didn't know how.

Ravens coach Brian Billick disclosed that Steve McNair suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder against the Bengals Sunday and that the injury will keep him out at least two to three weeks. Obviously, Kyle Boller becomes that starting quarterback.

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What I didn't hear during Billick's Q&A show last night or read was whether the injury had anything to do with McNair being replaced Sunday. Billick said that its severity became more apparent overnight. We can dwell on how delicately the Ravens feel they have to go about making this change. But let's put it in the best light and say it's in deference to a veteran player who deserves to go out with some dignity. But this much should be clear -- the Steve McNair era in Baltimore is over.

And the Ravens are in a similar position to 2005. Think back to that 6-10 season. Boller was hurt for the first half of the year. When he returned with the team 2-6, his first five starts were uneven and the home stretch was considered pivotal to how the Ravens would approach the offseason at that critical position. Boller had two great games and then a stinker in the finale against Cleveland.

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Enter Steve McNair.

Now, two years later, the Ravens are 4-5. And Boller is being handed the ball again. Unless the Ravens think Troy Smith can be a starter in the NFL, the team and its fans are where they were two years ago. The next two months will decide the franchise's offseason priorities and perhaps, the long-term direction of the team.

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