Harbaugh upbeat, but McKinnie still not ready to practice

July 30, 2012 | Luke Jones

Harbaugh upbeat, but McKinnie still not ready to practice

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A day after reporting to the Owings Mills facility for training camp, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie remained absent from practice as the Ravens returned to work on Monday.

However, coach John Harbaugh had a more positive tone after seeing his starting left tackle in the building.

“He and I had a long conversation, a very good conversation,” Harbaugh said. “Like I’ve said many times, I think the world of [McKinnie]. I do believe he’s a hard worker. I do believe he’s working hard, but he’s not ready to practice yet. When he’s ready to practice, he’ll be out there.

McKinnie strained a muscle in his back after falling outside his home, so it remains to be seen when he will practice for the first time this summer. The 32-year-old finished the process of taking a physical on Monday morning, but he must pass the conditioning test to be cleared to take the practice field.

Harbaugh reiterated McKinnie’s four-day absence was subject to fines under the collective bargaining agreement, but the coach hadn’t spoken to general manager Ozzie Newsome regarding the specifics. The veteran was subjected to a $30,000 fine for each day of camp he missed.

Michael Oher continued to work at left tackle on Monday, and Harbaugh was noncommittal about McKinnie simply stepping back into his starting position when he’s finally able to practice.

“My first thought right now is going to be competition,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to put the best five guys out there. It has become a competition. It’s not ideal in the sense that I’d love for [Oher] to be settled on one side or the other. But, by the same token, that’s what it is. We’re going to play our best five guys.”

There were a number of others missing from Monday’s workout as defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (hamstring), offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf), defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee), and wide receiver David Reed (knee) remain on the active physically unable to perform list. Linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) remains on the non-football injury list.

Ngata continues to improve, but the Ravens are still using extra caution at this early stage of training camp.

“He’s making strides,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll have to pass the conditioning test and be 100 percent healthy with the hamstring.”

Linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed, and center Matt Birk were given the day off as Harbaugh elected to rest the veterans during Monday’s practice.

Other new absences from practice included linebacker Courney Upshaw (shoulder bruise) and wide receivers Tommy Streeter and Tandon Doss (hamstring). Offensive lineman Ramon Harewood remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

The 35th overall pick in April’s draft, Upshaw appeared to suffer a shoulder injury in a collision with rookie running back Bernard Pierce on Saturday, but the linebacker continued practicing.

“Courtney Upshaw got a bruise on his shoulder, so he is out for now,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a bruise, and he’ll just take the time that it takes to get healed up. Jimmy Smith bruised his shoulder yesterday, too, and he was able to get back. So, it kind of gives you an indication.”

In addition to Smith, offensive lineman Justin Boren (undisclosed) returned to practice. Smith left Saturday’s practice with an apparent leg injury during the special teams portion of practice.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from Harbaugh as well as wide receiver Anquan Boldin and wide receivers coach Jim Hostler HERE.

 

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