Baltimore Ravens quarterback Troy Smith has to be sick about being sick.
Had Smith not contracted a tonsil infection over the past two weeks, he would have wound up starting Sunday’s opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now it is rookie first-round pick Joe Flacco starting instead.
As long as Flacco plays well, and the Ravens win, the job will belong to him. But should Flacco and the Ravens stumble, then Baltimore’s rookie coach John Harbaugh will not hesitate to turn back to Smith, who was winning the starting job before he was hospitalized.
While Smith had the infection, he lost 20 pounds. He now looks noticeably thinner. But at least he is back at work, regaining his strength, his weight and what he hopes is the starting job that was nearly his.
Baltimore’s starting quarterback job has been decided, for now. But it comes with a warning. Harbaugh might be forced to make even more decisions at the quarterback position.