Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Notebook: McKinnie not ready to practice, placed on non-football injury list

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens aren't giving up on veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie even though the former Pro Bowl blocker isn't ready to practice yet due to a strained lower back and has been placed on the non-football injury list.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh indicated affirmatively that McKinnie still is very much in the picture to be on the team despite a rocky offseason that includes conditioning issues and failing to report for training camp last Wednesday.

McKinnie arrived in town Sunday and was reinstated from the reserve/did not report list, ending his daily fines of $30,000 under the NFL collective bargaining agreement. McKinnie has to pass a physical and a mandatory conditioning test before he'll be cleared to practice.

"He and I had a long conversation, a very good conversation," Harbaugh said. "Like I've said many times, I think the world of 'B-Mac.' I do believe he's a hard worker. I do believe he's been working hard, but he's not ready to practice yet. When he's ready to practice, he'll be out there."

McKinnie told the Carroll County Times after his flight that his four-day absence from training camp was due to a lower back injury suffered during an accident at his home in South Florida last week. McKinnie said he slipped on a wet surface and twisted his lower back.

"Of course, I'm glad to be back," said McKinnie, who appeared to be lighter than he was in June at a mandatory minicamp when he weighed roughly 354 pounds. "I'm kind of disappointed, though. I've been training hard, I've been boxing and doing all this stuff. To have a setback like this is disappointing. Why isn't anybody saying I got hurt?

"I don't know what people thought was going on. How I got hurt is running out of the house. It was slippery and I fell and hurt my lower back. You can't be playing football when your back is hurting. When I fell, I said,'I know I ain't going out like this.'"

McKinnie was cut by the Minnesota Vikings last season when he reported at 387 pounds following the NFL lockout.

McKinnie admitted that he stayed up too late during that time, eating fast food while supervising recording sessions for his music label.

And now he's recovering from an injury. However, McKinnie appeared to be walking normally when he arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

"He strained a muscle in his back," Harbaugh said. "I didn't ask how he did it I think he said he fell and strained a muscle in his back."

The Ravens have had Michael Oher shift over from right tackle to left tackle while McKinnie is sidelined.

The Ravens have had second-round draft pick Kelechi Osemele line up at right tackle.

"My first thought right now is going to be competition," Harbaugh said. "We are going to put the best five guys out there, and it has become a competition. It's not ideal in the sense that I'd love for Mike to be settled on one side or the other, but by the same token, that's what it is. We're going to play our best five guys."

UPSHAW SIDELINED: Rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw didn't practice due to a bruised shoulder suffered during a collision.

"He's out for now," Harbaugh said. "It's a bruise and he'll just take the time that it takes to get healed up."

Meanwhile, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata remains on the physically unable to perform list.

Ngata injured his hamstring performing the conditioning test.

"He's making strides," Harbaugh said. "He'll have to pass his conditioning test and be 100 percent healthy with the hamstring."

Cornerback Jimmy Smith is also dealing with a shoulder bruise, but practiced Monday after getting hurt and not finishing practice Saturday.

Center-guard Justin Boren returned to practice.

Defensive end Pernell McPhee is still on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this spring.

"Pernell McPhee is getting closer," Harbaugh said. "We're working on lateral movement right now. I don't really have a timetable, but it's nearing. I'm hopeful for the first preseason game. To be honest without you, I'm probably ahead of myself saying that because I don't know."

Several other players didn't practice, including wide receiver Tandon Doss (hamstring), offensive guard Jah Reid (strained right calf), offensive tackle Ramon Harewood (ankle) and wide receiver Tommy Streeter (undisclosed).

Linebacker Josh Bynes left the field with a trainer with an undisclosed injury.

ARGUMENT: Cornerback Cary Williams and Doss got into a loud argument, with a lot of profanity exchanged, but no punches were thrown.

The verbal altercation stemmed from Williams and Torrey Smith clashing after getting tangled up during a pass route with Wiliams getting angry at the wide receiver.

Then, Doss joined in and began talking trash to Williams.

At one point, Williams called Doss "soft."

Williams started every game last season despite tearing the labrum in his hip against the Seattle Seahawks and underwent offseason surgery.

Doss didn't catch a pass in six games as a rookie, something that Williams pointed out during their exchange.

Eventually, both players cooled down.

QUICK HITS: Wide receiver Jacoby Jones outraced Smith for a long touchdown on a fade route. ... Kickers Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker both went 3 for 4 on field goal attempts. Their lone miss was from 55 yards. ... Harbaugh was critical of the first-team defense, telling them they were getting their butts kicked. "Offense got the better of it," he said. "The offense did a real nice job." ... Harbaugh allowed players 30 and over to have the day off, and middle linebacker Ray Lewis, free safety Ed Reed and center Matt Birk took him up on the offer.