-- Kyle Boller will be the starting quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens if, as expected, he returns to the field in two to three weeks, Coach Brian Billick said on Thursday.
Boller hyperextended the big toe on his right foot in the third quarter of the season opener, and Anthony Wright will start in his place on Sunday when the Ravens travel to the Tennessee Titans. Baltimore has a bye the week after the Titans, and the team is optimistic Boller will be able to play against the New York Jets on Oct. 2.
Billick opened his news conference by clarifying the remarks he made the day before -- "Anthony Wright is our starting quarterback, and he will be our starting quarterback until circumstances change" -- and by emphasizing his confidence in Boller.
Wright "is the starting quarterback right now, for an undetermined period of time, due to injury," Billick said on Thursday. "Kyle Boller is our starting quarterback. If I left that open to interpretation or if the way I responded led the way to speculation that we did not have the faith in Kyle, that our faith is wavering, that was not my intent."
Billick declined to speculate on what will happen if Boller is sidelined for more than two to three weeks.
"No one should interpret that as a lack of confidence in either one of the quarterbacks because of that," Billick said. "I'll tell you that if [Boller] is back in the next two to three weeks, he is our starting quarterback. Beyond that, I've got to know what period of time we are talking about and none of us can answer that."
When Boller was sacked by Indianapolis defensive tackle Larry Tripplett in the third quarter on Sunday, he said it felt as if his toe snapped out of his skin. To make matters worse, he heard the cheers from the home crowd when he got injured.
"Ask yourself the question, if someone booed you when you got hurt, would you feel good about it?" Boller said. "I've been through some tough times. I know there are people that are supporting me and pulling for me. So those people that cheered, they can do that if they want. They have the right to do it. But I've given 110 percent, and I've worked hard, and I'll continue to work hard."
Boller is limited in what he can do now because of the pain and the protective boot on his right foot. His toe still throbs, his ankle is a little swollen, and he cannot push off of the foot. He can't throw, and he can't even drive. But Boller is still attending meetings and lifting weights, and he will be at Sunday's game.
"Right now, Anthony is going to be the starting quarterback, and it's my job and my responsibility to support him and help him out," Boller said. "It's about this team, it's about winning, and anything I can do to help him, I'm going to do. He did it when I was out there. I've got to stay involved, stay into it, stay in the meetings, because I'm going to be back. When I'm ready to go, I don't want to be behind."
J. Lewis Okay
Running back Jamal Lewis said the fractured finger on his left hand won't affect his ability either to hold onto or catch the ball on Sunday. He laughed and shook his head when asked if he was going to follow the lead of Brett Backwell, the Australian rules football player who plans to amputate one of his fingers in order to improve his game.
"I love the game of football, but it's not that serious," Lewis said. . . .
Defensive end Terrell Suggs (back) and cornerback Deion Sanders (thigh) returned to practice on Thursday, and both are expected to play on Sunday.