CINCINNATI — Kyle Boller gave the St. Louis Rams one frightening moment along with a little bit of relief.
Boller played better Thursday night in his second game filling in for Marc Bulger, completing a flurry of short passes during a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The one problem: He didn’t duck.
Boller got his helmet knocked off on a hit by linebacker Keith Rivers at the end of an 8-yard scramble, waiting too long to start his slide. Unfazed, Boller got to his feet, found his helmet and completed his next two passes, including a 3-yard shovel pass to running back Samkon Gado for a touchdown.
His too-late slide couldn’t help but terrify the Rams, who lost Bulger to a broken pinkie finger on his passing hand before the last game and couldn’t afford another quarterback setback. Bulger is hoping to be ready for the season opener Sept. 13 at Seattle.
Boller struggled as his replacement last week in a 20-13 loss to the Falcons, but seemed much more comfortable against the Bengals. He completed 14 of 20 for 96 yards, heading for the bench after the opening series of the third quarter.