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With Boller back, Ravens release QB Stewart

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Kordell Stewart was cut Wednesday by
the Baltimore Ravens, who no longer need him as a backup
quarterback now that Kyle Boller has returned from a toe injury.

Stewart was signed on Sept. 11 after Boller hyperextended his
right big toe in the opener against Indianapolis. Playing as the
backup to Anthony Wright, Stewart appeared in only one game,
entering for a single series last Sunday against Cincinnati after
Wright sprained an ankle.

Stewart didn't throw a pass, but ran for 30 yards on three
carries in a drive that produced a field goal in Baltimore's 21-9
loss.

Boller, who missed seven games, will start Sunday against
Jacksonville and Wright will be the backup. Instead of keeping
Stewart as a third-stringer, the Ravens opted to activate running
back Musa Smith, who broke his leg last season and is finally ready
to play again.

"He's a huge addition for us, particularly on special teams,"
coach Brian Billick said of Smith. "Obviously at this time of the
season, to have depth at running back is pivotal, so it's a great
pickup for us in that regard."

Billick said wide receiver Randy Hymes, who played quarterback
at Grambling, will be the third-stringer behind Boller and Wright.

Stewart, 33, was not available for comment. The former Pro Bowl
quarterback was on the Baltimore roster last year, but has not
thrown a pass since 2003 with Chicago.

Smith began working with the Ravens three weeks ago, unsure if
the right leg he broke a year ago would hold up under the strain.
Much to his delight, it did.

"I was shocked to see how I felt, how I was cutting, my speed
and my explosiveness," Smith said. "The confidence just built
from there."

Before the surgery, he was told there was a good chance he would
never play again.

"They told me I had a 50 percent chance of coming back. That
definitely hit me hard," he said. "I did things during the
offseason to prepare me for life after football."

Now, however, his focus is entirely on helping the Ravens
rebound from a 2-6 start.

"I'm excited," said Smith, Baltimore's third-round pick in the
2003 draft. "I'll be playing mostly special teams like I've been
doing, and they'll try to work me in at running back as the weeks
go on."