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Troy Smith started two games for the Ravens at the end of 2007, going 1-1. A season later, it appeared that he would be the team's starting quarterback -- at least for the first few weeks -- when Kyle Boller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during the preseason. But a nasty tonsil infection sidelined Smith, opening the door for first-round pick Joe Flacco. We all know how that turned out.

Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State, has always wanted to be a starting quarterback in the league (I'm not sure why people faulted him for that). No, he wasn't a better option than Flacco. And yes, his timing was off with his trade request last season. But I have always felt that Smith deserved a shot to show another team that he is capable of starting under center.

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Smith will finally get that opportunity Sunday, in London of all places, when he starts for the 49ers against the Broncos (let's hope he doesn't try to crawl to Wembley Stadium). With 49ers starter Alex Smith out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury, 49ers coach Mike Singletary decided to give Troy Smith the nod over former No. 1 overall pick David Carr. "Troy Smith gives us a good opportunity to win this game," Singletary said. "He has enough of the offense to play."

Good luck, Troy.

Smith is one of a few Ravens preseason roster cuts who have been given opportunities outside of Baltimore. Wideout Mark Clayton was having a fine season with the Rams before he ripped up his knee. Outside linebacker Antwan Barnes, now with the Chargers,

last weekend. And wide receiver Demetrius Williams is apparently

.

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