But the 11-year veteran flashed a smile Wednesday after his teammates finished their second day of this week’s mandatory minicamp and made a guarantee.
“I’ll be working out hard every day, and I’ll be ready to go,” Yanda said. “I can just tell you — Week 1, I’ll be out there.”
After all, Yanda hates to miss games.
While he missed three games after suffering the injury last October, he delayed his left shoulder surgery and moved to left guard when he returned. It allowed him to protect his shoulder and contribute to the team’s playoff push.
Despite playing out of position, he earned a sixth consecutive Pro Bowl selection, which he declined because of his injury, but Yanda said the transition wasn’t seamless. He had to buck his right-side muscle memory in his stance and blocking.
“It was definitely one of the toughest things I’ve done,” Yanda said. “I was happy to finish it that way, rather than to go on IR and get the surgery then. It’s nice to be able to go down fighting. And obviously we didn’t get to finish what we wanted to do last year, but I at least wanted to die trying to do it.”
That led to an offseason of rehab. Yanda said the process has been easier than recovering from his right shoulder surgery in 2013, but the pain while lifting and rebuilding strength is still present.
While at the Ravens’ facility this week, he’s learned new offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris’ style and watched his younger teammates compete for starting jobs.
As the option to add an offensive lineman looms — owner Steve Bisciotti said in a conference call with season ticket holders Tuesday that took priority over signing another wide receiver — Yanda wants John Urschel and Ryan Jensen to embrace the competition.
The two have rotated between starting center and right guard throughout offseason practices, though Yanda doesn’t think they’ll occupy the latter spot much longer.
“If you’re going to have a career in the NFL, sooner or later, you’re going to be doing rehab,” Yanda said. “I was lucky I had three or four years without having a surgery with my right shoulder, so I had a good run, and I was probably due.”