The Ravens decided to go with a youth movement along their offensive line, meaning veteran left tackle
McKinnie, who has been a starter his entire 11-year career, said that his mentality remains unchanged.
"I always take the approach as if I would be starting because you never know what’s going to happen,” he said after practice Wednesday. "You just want to be prepared if your number is called.”
The game plan evolves throughout each week and McKinnie said that everybody along the line is rotating during practice. He’s not sure exactly what his role will be for Sunday’s matchup with the Eagles.
"I’m just being a team player and doing whatever they ask me to do,” he said.
The offensive line was a carousel during the preseason, as the group dealt with minor injuries and coaches moved players around to try different combinations. McKinnie opened the preseason behind Oher at left tackle, but then started the next two games and appeared to be winning back his job.
But then a week before the regular season, the Ravens asked him to restructure his contract and take a $1 million pay cut. He agreed to the lower salary and is now coming off the bench.
"Once I got things situated, I just came in and played my role and didn’t really ask questions,” McKinnie said.
In the season opener against Cincinnati, the line played well and the offense led the Ravens to a 44-13 victory.
Head Coach John Harbaugh, however, said that the starting lineup could still change in the coming weeks.
"We’re just going to have to see how that goes,” Harbaugh said. "We’ve got nine good players on our offensive line right now. That is a real plus for us. They all bring different skill sets to the table.”
Harbaugh said that he could see a scenario where all of the offensive linemen on the active roster get into the rotation.
"The fact that we’ve got a deep well right now is a plus,” he said. "I anticipate all those guys playing extensively.”
A concern with McKinnie coming into training camp was whether he would be able to keep his weight down during the season. The Ravens wanted him to get down to his college playing weight, and he told reporters last month that he was struggling to lose the weight and even went to see a specialist about it.
McKinnie spent some extra time running sprints on the practice field after Wednesday’s practice, but said that he is keeping his weight under control.
"My weight is pretty much down,” McKinnie said. "Last week I was 349, and they wanted me to be 348, so I’m a pound off. I’m probably there by now.”
His focus now is to head into each week prepared like the starter, just like he has been his entire career.
"I’m prepared so that I’m on point for when I have to go in and then just wait for the coaches to call my number," McKinnie said.