Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair missed his second consecutive day of practice yesterday with a stiff back, and the team will make a decision before kickoff tomorrow whether he will play against St. Louis.
Backup quarterback Kyle Boller took all the snaps again with the starting offense.
McNair missed the second game of the season with a groin pull that has hampered him since the season opener in Cincinnati.
"It's just tightened up," Ravens coach Brian Billick said of McNair's back. "I'm not sure the groin didn't lead to some tightness in the back. We'll have to see how he feels at the end of the day today, Saturday, and Sunday - gametime decision."
Boller has completed 33 of 51 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, engineering a 20-13 victory over the New York Jets in his lone start.
Carr still in neutralQuarterback David Carr returned to practice for Carolina and was listed as probable for the Panthers' game tomorrow at Arizona, but coach John Fox was not ready to declare Carr the starter. If Carr can't go, either 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde or undrafted rookie Matt Moore would get the start.
Carr missed the last two days of practice with a back injury, but Fox said he looked good during practice yesterday. "He was out there throwing," Fox said. "That's a good start. I'm not sure if somebody rams into him that will be such a good thing."
Action for Jackson?Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is listed as probable for the Vikings' game tomorrow at Chicago, making it likely that he will get his first start in three weeks. Jackson injured his groin against Detroit in Week 2, when he threw four interceptions. Veteran Kelly Holcomb started the next two games. Holcomb kept the turnovers to a minimum, but also had trouble igniting a sputtering offense in losses to Kansas City and Green Bay . . . Oakland defensive tackle Gerard Warren will miss the Raiders' game tomorrow at San Diego, and defensive end Derrick Burgess and running back LaMont Jordan are doubtful. Warren has not practiced since injuring his thigh Oct. 4. Burgess, a two-time Pro Bowler, has missed the previous two games with an injured calf. Jordan left Oakland's game against Miami Sept. 30 with a back injury. . . Redskins receiver Antwaan Randle El and linebacker Marcus Washington missed practice again with hamstring injuries, and Randle El was more optimistic than Washington of having a chance to play tomorrow against Green Bay. Neither player has practiced all week . . . Running back Fred Taylor missed practice because of a groin injury and was listed as questionable for Jacksonville's game against Houston . . . Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth practiced for the first time this week, and coach Jeff Fisher said Haynesworth should be able to play tomorrow at Tampa Bay . . . Pittsburgh running back Najeh Davenport was charged with domestic violence, child endangering, and unlawful restraint in a custody-related confrontation Oct. 4 with the mother of his 5-year-old son in Cleveland.
Information wantedA House committee that criticized the league's retiree benefit system asked the league and the players' union to turn over information on football injuries, the disability and retirement system, and what's being done to help battered and broken retirees.
The House Judiciary Committee has arranged for the Congressional Research Service, an investigative and research unit, to conduct an independent study of those questions as well, committee leaders said in letters to the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
The NFL and the union have until Oct. 26 to turn over information and answer the committee's questions.