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With Marshal Yanda Injured, Could Bryant McKinnie Re-Emerge?

Posted Dec 11, 2012

The Ravens may have to do some re-shuffling if right guard Marshal Yanda is out.


The Ravens may have to do some shuffling along their offensive line.

Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda suffered a “somewhat serious ankle sprain” Sunday against the Redskins, and will have an MRI this week to determine if he will miss significant time.

If Yanda is out for a while, could the Ravens move pieces around by putting veteran Bryant McKinnie back in as the starting left tackle?

“When we think [McKinnie] is the best option, we will put him in there,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “He is working hard at practice. He, obviously, has some ability at pass protector; that’s a big deal, no doubt about it.”

Michael Oher has started at left tackle every game this season and McKinnie has been used as a backup and extra blocker in jumbo formations. McKinnie started every game at left tackle last season, while Oher played on the right side.

If the Ravens were to insert McKinnie back in the lineup, they could then potentially move starting right tackle Kelechi Osemele to right guard in place of Yanda.

The other option would be to put veteran Bobbie Williams at right guard and keep Osemele at right tackle and Oher at left tackle, which is what the Ravens did when Yanda came out of Sunday’s game.

The other two starters on the line are Jah Reid at left guard and Matt Birk at center.

The offensive line has come under criticism lately, as quarterback Joe Flacco has been sacked five times in the last two games. Oher has allowed two of those sacks, which both resulted in fumbles at critical points of the game.

Flacco has been brought down 32 times this season, tied for fourth-most in the NFL. Improving the sack numbers is a focus for the offense, but Harbaugh said the group has performed well overall.

“I think our offensive line is playing pretty well,” Harbaugh said. “Sacks come from a lot of things. Sure, guys get beat one-on-one and all of that.”

McKinnie has been used sparingly this season, but the 11-year veteran has plenty of experience and was a long-time starter before this season. The Ravens could keep him in a reserve role down the stretch, but Harbaugh indicated that they would not hesitate to put him in the game if he believes he’s one of the best five linemen on the roster.

“I would have no qualms about [McKinnie] going into the game,” Harbaugh said. “If we feel like he’s the best option at one position or another, we’ll do it. Right now, we think we have the best group of guys out there, but that could change.”


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