It would take a lot of things for a slimmer, less fit Troy Smith to start for the Baltimore Ravens. The tonsilitis that sidelined him for half of the preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season has finally released the former Heisman Trophy winner, and he has been cleared for light work outs.
The infection, which has been reported as having caused a blood clot in his neck and an infection in his lung, took a lot out of Smith; likely more than he will ever be able to reclaim. While doctors say his health was never in jeopardy, it takes a lot for a finely conditioned athlete to be reduced to a shell of himself due to sickness.
Injury usually limits the mobility and range of one part of your body. Illness shuts you down completely.
And while Smith’s body was betraying him, the offense was gaining an identity under Flacco. While it hasn’t come together yet and most folks are reserving cautious optimism for their season outlook, the Ravens look healthier and more determined than they have in years.
Smith may be able to fill half of that new outlook, but its the former that will cause him the greatest amount of trouble this season, and perhaps, beyond.