Le'Ron McClain hobbled through the locker room Wednesday with his head down. The expression on his face could fairly be described as dejection. A group of reporters chased after him on his way to the training room, peppering him with questions, but his answers were short and monotone. Ravens running back Willis McGahee, sitting on a stool a few lockers away, joked that the scene reminded him of the paparazzi pursuing a celebrity.
"It's like TMZ, man!" McGahee said.
Is there any chance McClain will play against the Steelers on Sunday? It seems doubtful considering the ankle injury he suffered against Tampa Bay, although McClain has been expressing optimism on his Twitter account this week.
"Just got done seeing Doctor Chad!! Ankle feeling great!!" McClain wrote on Twitter. "Pittsburgh week, I gots to be ready!"
His locker room comments tried echo a similar sentiment, although his limp may have told a more pessimistic tale.
"I'm good," McClain said, but wouldn't offer much else.
If McClain can't play, his responsibilities will fall on newly signed fullback Jason McKie, who played six seasons for the Bears before he was released when Mike Martz became Chicago's offensive coordinator and reportedly felt he didn't fit into the new offense.
"I have an opportunity to play for a great team with a bunch of great guys and a great coach," McKie said. "I just want to come in here and contribute in any way I can. I've been anxious to play football."
The Ravens released safety Ken Hamlin to make room for McKie, a move that seemed to indicate McClain is unlikely to be ready by Sunday night.
"I'm a hard nosed blocker," McKie said. "I've been doing that for years in Chicago. I've played against almost every team in the NFL, so I can help out as far as veteran leadership. There is a lot to learn. The plays carry over, but as far as what they call it and what the formations are, you've got to try and learn the lingo and the terminology. Coach [Wilber] Montgomery is doing a great job helping me out already. I feel pretty comfortable so far."
McKie said he's already gotten a feel for what is often described as the hardest-hitting rivalry in the NFL.
"I've seen it for years," McKie said. "How can you not? Every year they play, they're two of the top teams in the AFC. We played [the Steelers] last year in Chicago and had a lot of success against them, so that brings a lot of familiarity. I think it's going to be a great game. It's a good time to come in and try to help."