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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A little more than a month after stating his goal of being the best left tackle in the NFL this season, Bryant McKinnie was nowhere to be found on the practice field as the Ravens’ held their first full-squad workout of the summer on Thursday.
Unlike last year, McKinnie was present at the team’s Owings Mills facility for the first full day of camp, but the veteran wasn’t cleared to practice due to concerns over his weight. Coach John Harbaugh said it was his decision to keep McKinnie off the field, but the offensive lineman was not placed on the non-injured football list like teammate Jacoby Jones after the wide receiver failed the conditioning test earlier in the week.
“Bryant’s just too heavy right now,” Harbaugh said. “He needs to lose weight. My guess is he lost quite a bit today. He’s in good shape and he [has] good cardiovascular fitness and you can tell he’s worked hard, but I wasn’t real comfortable putting him out there today at that weight.
“We’ll figure it out in the next 24 hours, the next 48 hours what we want to do and the best way to deal with it, but he’ll be out there.”
The overall sense from the Ravens was this being more of a precautionary move despite disappointment in McKinnie’s weight. Entering his third season in Baltmore, he is roughly carrying 10 extra pounds of water weight, but his overall conditioning is not as concerning as last year when he reported late to training camp after informing the Ravens he hurt his back after falling outside his Florida home days before training camp.
McKinnie does not have to take the conditioning test due to his exceptional attendance for the Ravens’ offseason conditioning program. The expectation is that he could be back on the field within the next few days if he’s able to shed the weight quickly.
Harbaugh praised McKinnie throughout the spring for his dedication to working out after the Ravens re-signed the 32-year-old to a two-year contract worth a maximum of $7 million. Needless to say, the left tackle’s absence from practice wasn’t the way Harbaugh or McKinnie wanted to begin the summer.
“We’re both disappointed,” Harbaugh said. “I’m not sure who’s more disappointed — Bryant or I — because he was pretty darn disappointed, but I was feeling pretty disappointed myself. We had a long talk about it. It’s not that effort wasn’t put in. It’s an issue, but we’re going to get it fixed together.”
Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele slid over to left tackle in McKinnie’s absence while Jah Reid lined up at left guard with the starting offensive line. Unlike last summer when he moved to left tackle in McKinnie’s absence at the start of camp, veteran tackle Michael Oher remained on the right side.
Of course, last summer’s tumultuous start led to McKinnie losing his starting job for the entire regular season before he was placed back with the first unit at the start of the playoffs. He started all four playoff games and was considered a significant reason why the Ravens went on to win their second Super Bowl title.
Webb aiming to be great in return from ACL injury
Top cornerback Lardarius Webb was present and working on a limited basis during the first day of full-team practice in Owings Mills, but the fifth-year defensive back is looking to do more than just recover from the second ACL surgery of his brief NFL career.
“I want to be great,” Webb said. “I don’t want to just be good. I want to be more than that, so I’m working my butt off just to get back on the field.”
He signed a six-year, $50 million contract in April 2012 but saw his season end when he injured his left knee on Oct. 14 in a win over the Dallas Cowboys. Regarded as one of the up-and-coming cornerbacks in the league prior to the injury, Webb has every intention of picking up where he left off.
Before he can reach loftier goals, the Ravens will bring Webb along slowly at the start of camp, but Harbaugh confirmed the 27-year-old is on track to play in the Sept. 5 season opener and very well could see game action even sooner.
“It’s reasonable that he would be playing against Denver with the state of ACL surgery in recovery,” Harbaugh said. “That’s definitely our target. I think he has a very good chance to get back and play in the preseason at some point in time, but it’s not the most important thing. But it would be helpful.”
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