John Harbaugh made it* *clear after Thursday's practice that he believes fourth-year lineman Michael Oher can be the Ravens starting left tackle.
And it looks like he will get that chance.
Last year's starter Bryant McKinnie didn't report to training camp because of a personal issue, and the Ravens have moved Oher from right to left tackle for an indefinite amount of time.
"We're very comfortable with Michael at left tackle," Harbaugh said. "Until further notice he's the left tackle."
McKinnie's timetable for a return is unclear, and Harbaugh didn't want to get into the specifics of his absence.
"He contacted us through a representative, he's dealing with an issue right now," Harbaugh said. "I don't really want to speak for him on that."
When the Ravens drafted Oher in the first round in 2009, they selected him to ideally play on the left side. He has started every game since coming into the league, but last played left tackle in 2010.
Oher has spent much of this offseason working on the left side. He took the first-team reps at left tackle during Thursday's practice, and also played there during the Organized Team Activities and minicamp.
The 26-year-old lineman said he doesn't have a preference in terms of which position he plays.
"It's all football and I'm just holding it down until whatever happens," Oher said after practice. "I just do whatever they ask me to do. That's why they brought me here, just to play football and I'm just glad to be part of the team. I'll just play whatever they want."
For Harbaugh, he said the team always had confidence that Oher could move back to the blindside.
With Oher on the left side, the next question for the Ravens is who will be the starter at right tackle. Rookie Kelechi Osemele (back), second-year tackle Jah Reid (calf) and third-year tackle Ramon Harewood (ankle) would be the most likely candidates, but all three of them missed Thursday's practice because of injuries.
Osemele and Reid are expected to return soon, but the timetable for Harewood is unknown after he rolled his ankle. When all three get back on the field, Harbaugh expects a tight battle for the job.
"We have to find a right tackle and there will be a heated competition for that spot," Harbaugh said.