Bryant McKinnie is confident that he'll get his left tackle job back. He feels healthy enough to play right now and he says that despite all the attention being paid to his conditioning, he's nearly 20 pounds lighter than he was when he was signed by the Ravens late in training camp last year.

However, the 10-year veteran admits he is concerned with how much his weight fluctuates and he'll see a specialist Monday in an attempt to get a better understanding of why it is happening.

"I think it's my metabolism," McKinnie said following the Ravens' open practice Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. "I don't know how to diagnose it until I find out on Monday. It's just to better help me with my whole weight thing because this wasn't an issue my whole career until about three years ago, in '09. I think there's kind of like an imbalance or something maybe that is going on with metabolism. We're going to try and work on it."

McKinnie said he weighs about 360 pounds, which is about 15 pounds higher than the Ravens asked him to be at when he reported to training camp. McKinne, who started all 18 games at left tackle for the Ravens last season after they signed him 2 1/2 weeks before the season opener, said that he played last year in the "370s."

"In the past, I was doing stuff like going to practice and after practice I would go with sweatsuits and stuff on and go play tennis for an hour and a half just to make weight. It kind of takes a toll on your body trying to do all that," McKinnie said. "I'm sure other people in the league have to do stuff like that to try and keep your weight down. But actually, you're dehydrating yourself. So I'm finally going to get checked and see what's going on and correct it."

McKinnie, 33, said he adhered to a strict workout regiment and diet this offseason and was on pace to show up at training camp last week on time and at the appropriate weight. However, he blames a fall outside his South Florida home and the subsequent inactivity for both delaying his arrival at training camp and getting his conditioning off track.

McKinnie showed up to training camp last Sunday when the report date was the previous Wednesday. He said that he was getting treatment on his back as a result of the fall, and his chiropractor told him not to fly until it felt better.

"I have a brick staircase outside my house and I was actually running to the car … and one of the bricks came loose. It wasn't cemented down, I guess, and I didn't know it. I kind of slipped and it caused me to fall," said McKinnie, who started experiencing back spasms. "That's behind me. Now, I took the [conditioning] test and I am done. I'm going to go in and get some extra running in [Sunday]. So Monday I'll come back and I'm in full pads."

With McKinnie gone, Michael Oher has moved from right to left tackle. However, McKinnie said that he is confident he'll get his job back and acknowledged that he's in much better position this year to start the season than he was last year.

"I'm lighter, believe it or not, than I was at this time last year [and] I just have more time to practice," he said. "I definitely feel confident. I have a better confidence within myself this year compared to last year, too. Last year, my confidence wasn't that high. Football-wise, I have more confidence this year. "

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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