What to do with the backup quarterback job?

Coming into tonight's preseason finale, the Ravens' had a difficult decision to make regarding their backup quarterback job.

Coming out of tonight's preseason finale, reaching that decision might be even an even more complicated process.

Rookie Tyrod Taylor, who had impressed this camp and was making a serious bid for the No. 2 quarterback gig behind Joe Flacco, had to leave tonight's game late in the first quarter with a left shoulder contusion.

After the game, Taylor and head coach John Harbaugh told reporters in Atlanta that the injury isn't considered serious, and Taylor went as far as to say that he'll be ready for the start of the regular season, which kicks off next weekend.

But can the Ravens afford to go into that Sept. 11 contest against the Steelers with an unproven rookie quarterback backing up Flacco, especially when that unproven rookie quarterback might not be 100 percent healthy?

Flacco is tough and durable, and has yet to miss an NFL game in his career due to injury. But the Steelers punish quarterbacks. They throw opposing QBs to the turf like rag dolls, and the thought of a banged up Taylor being the only quarterback other than Flacco on the Ravens roster' come Week 1 is a little disconcerting.

Setting aside the shoulder injury for a minute, Taylor didn't look all that sharp before having to leave tonight's game.

The sixth-round pick threw a bad interception deep in Atlanta territory, and while his offensive line certainly didn't do him any favors (I'm looking at you, Ramon Harewood), Taylor didn't make a great final impression in his two series of action.

What are the Ravens' other options beyond Taylor, you ask? Well, right now, there is very little quarterback talent out there on the free agent market, but that will change after Saturday's final roster cuts.

Guys with years of NFL experience, such as David Carr or Sage Rosenfels (who are competing for the Giants' backup job) or Kellen Clemens (currently the No. 3 in Washington) are likely to become available when teams trim their rosters.

The Ravens could opt to give one of those more proven quarterbacks the backup job, at least to start the season. That way, they would allow Taylor's shoulder time to heal and his knowledge of Cam Cameron's system to improve.

In a few weeks, assuming the Ravens still like what they see from Taylor, they could then hand him the No. 2 job. No harm in doing that.

Or, they could just avoid the veteran options available and let it ride with Taylor as their backup from Week 1.

It sure will be interesting to see which route Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome take.

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