Relegated to the bench for the past four games due to lingering right knee and thigh injuries, Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee is trying a new approach in a quest to regain his quickness.
McPhee is attempting to lose some weight after bulking up to 290 pounds, roughly 10 pounds more than his rookie season when he finished second on the NFL's third-ranked defense with six sacks.
Now, McPhee is trying to work his way back onto the field and was limited in practice again Wednesday as the Ravens launched preparations for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McPhee underwent two arthroscopic knee surgeries prior to training camp, including one during the spring.
"I had to, I had to, personally," McPhee said of losing a few pounds so far. "I'm trying to see if my quickness is coming back. It ain't all about my weight."
McPhee indicated he's limited to individual drills.
"That's about it, I do a little bit of individual," McPhee said. "I'm trying to get into the mix and trying to turn back on the football switch. After five weeks, your body shuts down. I've got to find a way to get my body ready to play football. It ain't about your injuries. It's about your heart."
McPhee declined to say if he'll play Sunday, deflecting that question to coach John Harbaugh.
"You got to ask coach about that," he said. "It's all his decisions. If it was up to me, I would play, but coach feels like he need me, he'll put me out there."
The Ravens recorded a season-high six sacks without McPhee in the lineup during a 16-13 overtime win over the San Diego Chargers. Arthur Jones, McPhee's replacement at left defensive end, registered the first two sacks of his NFL career.
"We're one big family, one big unit," McPhee said. "I'm happy for him. I hope he goes out there next week and gets two more."