By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
1:29 PM EDT, October 11, 2013
Eugene Monroe is set to make his starting debut at left offensive tackle for the Ravens on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at M&T Bank Stadium.
"Eugene did a heck of a job this week, he looks good," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I anticipate he'll play quite a bit and possibly start -- I might even say probably start at this point. That would be my anticipation. Unless something changes, he'll be the starter at left tackle."
Monroe was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars last week in exchange for fourth-round and fifth-round draft picks and was inactive against the Miami Dolphins last Sunday.
"I think I've moved along as far as being integrated with this system," Monroe said. "It's like any other Sunday for me. I'll be ready to go. Excitement, yeah, but I approach gameday the same way I do every week regardless of the situation. Excitement's not an emotion that necessarily helps you perform as far as precision. I'll need to be precise this week and be on top of my game since everything is brand-new.
"I am excited, but I'll be focused. The techniques are different. The terminologies are different. I've had some time to work with the rest of the guys. I'm ready to roll on every level. Everyone has been helpful, everyone has been cool. Everyone has accepted me and tried to bring me along. It's been a great situation."
Monroe replaces Bryant McKinnie, who didn't rule out the possibility of being traded.
"I don't know, I'm hearing a lot of things," McKinnie said. "So, who knows? Maybe, maybe not."
McKinnie said he was rested Wednesday because of a left knee injury that was drained to reduce swelling.
"I've been good," McKinnie said. "It actually kind of helps me out. I had a nagging injury anyway. It gives them time to see what he can and gives me time to rest. Just the swelling in my knee, I had it drained.
"I'll just do my part and in the meantime rest up a little bit. We still want to win at the end of the day."
Harbaugh confirmed a Baltimore Sun report this week that inside linebacker Jameel McClain has gained medical clearance following a spinal cord contusion last December. McClain is eligible to return to practice next week having missed the first six games on the reserve physically unable to perform list, but the Ravens haven't determined yet when he'll start practicing.
"Jameel McClain, I think it was reported that he was cleared, and there is some truth to that," Harbaugh said. "The back specialists have looked at his most recent MRIs and it was very favorable. I'm not in a position to say completely 100 percent, I don't know that. There's a process still involved. It's encouraging to say the least. It's all positive."
Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata, who returned to practice today from a hip injury that sidelined him Wednesday and Thursday, had "little tweaks and strains" and was rested.
"He looked good today," Harbaugh said. "He should be fine."
Pro Bowl kick returner Jacoby Jones, who has missed the past four games with a sprained right knee, practiced all week for the second consecutive week.
"Looked good, I'm encouraged," Harbaugh said.