Thursday, July 26, 2012
McKinnie is a surprise no-show at camp
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Left tackle Bryant McKinnie was a surprise no-show at the first practice of Ravens training camp, and team officials are unsure when he will report.
McKinnie let the Ravens know he wasn't reporting by contacting the team through a representative, continuing a difficult offseason for the one-time Pro Bowl player.
"He's dealing with an issue right now," coach John Harbaugh said after practice. "I don't really want to speak for him on that. I'll let him speak for himself on that when the time comes."
Harbaugh was asked when he expects McKinnie to report to the team.
"Honestly, I really don't know," Harbaugh said.
The Ravens have to start thinking of moving on from McKinnie because he has become too unreliable. The Ravens picked up his $500,000 roster bonus in March after a face-to-face meeting in which he agreed to get in better shape.
The situation took a twist last month, when the Ravens held out McKinnie from practicing at the mandatory minicamp so he could focus on conditioning. McKinnie said he was 354 pounds at the time, which was nine pounds off his targeted weight. After being scrutinized for his weight, McKinnie vowed to "shut everybody up" last month. Now, everyone will be talking about why McKinnie is the only Ravens player not in camp.
An active tweeter, McKinnie hasn't posted anything on his account for four days.
With McKinnie not in camp, the Ravens have moved Michael Oher from right to left tackle. He started at left tackle in 2010 before moving to the right side in 2011 after McKinnie was signed.
Oher has been stronger at right tackle over his career, but Harbaugh expressed confidence in the player whose life was captured in the movie The Blind Side.
"Until further notice, he's the left tackle," Harbaugh said. "For the record, we've always believed Michael Oher is a left tackle here. I'm very comfortable with Mike at left tackle."
McKinnie's absence hurts the Ravens because the team is dealing with three injuries on the offensive line.
Jah Reid, the team's No. 3 tackle, would have replaced Oher at right tackle but he has a calf injury that could sideline him for an extended period. Ramon Harewood started Thursday's practice at right tackle until he rolled his ankle. The Ravens couldn't turn to guard-tackle Kelechi Osemele because he has a back injury, although he could return Friday.
That meant Jack Cornell, an undrafted rookie out of Illinois, worked at right tackle with the first team.
"My point is we got to find a right tackle," Harbaugh said. "There will be heated competition for that spot."
In other news, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata didn't practice after tweaking his hamstring during the conditioning test. Ngata was criticized this offseason for putting on weight.
"We're going to take it slow and make sure he's OK," Harbaugh said.