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Bryant McKinnie says increased playing time is a 'possibility'

Although former Pro Bowl left tackle Bryant McKinnie hasn't started a game since last season when he was a regular in the Ravens' lineup, he's hoping to increase his role for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.

"It's a possibility," McKinnie said today in the locker room. "We just have to wait and see."

If the Ravens were to institute a line shuffle, which they haven't done at this point, then McKinnie would replace Michael Oher at left tackle with Oher shifting back to right tackle, where he played last year, and rookie right tackle Kelechi Osemele shifting to left guard and either Jah Reid or Marshal Yanda, if he makes it back this week from a sprained right ankle, lining up at right guard.

Should McKinnie perform well in practice this week, he'll improve his chances of gaining some playing time. At this point, though, no change is guaranteed even though the Ravens have contemplated the idea internally.

"I've just tried to stay ready so that in case anyone went down or anything like that, just keep myself prepared," McKinnie said. "I'm not sure and I won't know until we get out there today to figure out the rotation."

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been sacked 31 times this season, including three times in a 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos where he was hit 31 times.

McKinnie believes he could make a difference.

"If I was out there, maybe some things would be a little bit different," McKinnie said. "But there's not too much I can do."

Why would the chance of a change be higher now?

"Because we're at the end and you never know what can happen," McKinnie said.

McKinnie, who battled weight issues and financial lawsuits during the offseason and training camp and had his salary reduced prior to the first game, said he's completely healthy since he has only played in the jumbo package.

"I haven't been out there banging or anything with everybody else," McKinnie said. "There's no wear and tear on me right now."

Accustomed to starting, McKinnie hasn't made waves by complaining.

"I've taken it as a learning experience," McKinnie said. "At the same time, I've just kept myself ready and fresh because you never know when your name might be called."

When asked what he could add to the lineup, McKinnie replied: "A good solid run blocker and someone that can pass protect pretty well."

awilson@baltsun.com

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