OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Troy Smith will be the Ravens starting quarterback for Saturday's preseason game against the Rams, coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday.
The 2006 season's Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State may play as much as three quarters. The Ravens want to evaluate him as they try to determine who will start the season opener against the Bengals on Sept. 7.
Former starter Kyle Boller is Smith's chief competition — rookie Joe Flacco is not considered in the running— yet he might not play against the Rams. Boller has a team-high three turnovers in two preseason games.
Harbaugh emphasized that he hasn't made up his mind on who will ultimately be the starter, but this is obviously a prime opportunity for Smith to seize the job.
"He will play as much as we need to have him play," Harbaugh said. "The thinking is that Kyle has had 42 starts, and we have a good idea of what he is and what he's been. We need to find out more about Troy Smith."
Smith is 8-for-17 passing for 99 yards and no touchdowns with one interception. He has a 41.1 quarterback rating, lowest among the team's three quarterbacks.
Smith said he wasn't surprised to be the starter for the third preseason game. Traditionally, that's when the starters play the most before the regular season.
"No, I say that because I am confident in what I can do and what I will do," Smith said. "Obviously being a young player, I haven't had that much time on the field."
Rams star running back ends holdout
ST. LOUIS — Rams running back Steven Jackson ended his holdout as his agent continues negotiations for a new contract.
The 235-pound Jackson, the centerpiece of the offense, is entering the final year of a five-year, $7-million deal he signed as a first-round pick in 2004.
The Rams cut off negotiations in late July on the first day of training camp after agent Eugene Parker turned down a deal the team said would have put Jackson in the top echelon at his position.
At that time, Jay Zygmunt, the president of football operations, said there would be no further talks until Jackson reported.
Jackson is scheduled for a physical this morning and could make it onto the practice field.
Bills: Starting quarterback Trent Edwards missed practice. But except for swelling, there is nothing structurally wrong with his leg or knee a day after colliding with running back Marshawn Lynch on a handoff. His status for Sunday against the Colts hasn't been determined.
Broncos: Five-time Pro Bowl center Tom Nalen is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today. The only player remaining from the two Super Bowl teams of the late 1990s has experienced pain and swelling despite a similar surgery in June. But coach Mike Shanahan said he is holding out hope that Nalen can play in the Sept. 8 season opener at Oakland.
Browns: Cornerback Travis Daniels was acquired from the Dolphins for an undisclosed draft pick. In 16 games (five starts) last season, his second, he had 27 tackles and an interception.
Chiefs: Linebacker Demorrio Williams, injured in practice Tuesday, will likely miss the final two preseason games with a broken bone in his right hand, but he expects to be ready for the Sept. 7 opener at New England.
Eagles: Wide receiver Kevin Curtis will have surgery today to repair a sports hernia and will likely miss the start of the regular season. Coach Andy Reid believes Curtis, the team's top receiver last season with 77 catches for 1,110 yards, will be back during the season, but no timetable has been set for his return.
49ers: Coach Mike Nolan said J.T. O'Sullivan will take the first snaps tonight against Chicago, but did not declare the competition with Alex Smith and Shaun Hill over. "Some are getting more reps than others, but I've been pleased with all three of them," Nolan said.
Panthers: Former Gators defensive tackle Ian Scott was released. He sprained his left knee on the fifth day of camp and had not recovered.
Seahawks: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck did not practice because of a stiff back. Coach Mike Holmgren said Hasselbeck might miss his second preseason game, Monday vs. the Chargers, to try to ensure he is ready for the Sept. 7 opener at Buffalo.