The protection of quarterback Joe Flacco has progressively gotten less stable.
Still, Ravens coach John Harbaugh hasn’t made any changes, except at left guard when he began the season with Ramon Harewood, replaced him with Bobbie Williams and then inserted Jah Reid there. All of those moves were at least, in part, related to injuries.
Bryant McKinnie not only lost his starting role at left tackle to enter the season, but Harbaugh has been adamant that he wouldn’t use him unless there are some unforeseen circumstances.
McKinnie, who was forced to take a pay cut less than a week before the season began and appeared on his way out, is more optimistic. The Ravens have two regular season games remaining, starting with Sunday vs. the New York Giants.
“It’s a possibility,” he said of playing more. “We just got to wait and see.”
McKinnie reported to training camp late, had to work his way into shape and also had a few injuries along the way. He has been used in goal-line packages and on special teams, but the 11th-year player has been mostly invisible.
Michael Oher, who was at right tackle last season, has started at left tackle all season. Rookie Kelechi Osemele is on the right side.
But Flacco has been rattled in the pocket since the Nov. 25 game at the San Diego Chargers. Flacco has been sacked 13 times in the last four games, equal to how many times he was taken down in the first 10 games.
"At times I think if I was out there maybe some things would be a little bit different," McKinnie said. "It’s not much I can do from where I’m at."
McKinnie went from playing 10 offensive snaps and eight on special teams in the opener vs. the Cincinnati Bengals to just one play by Week 3 vs. the New England Patriots.
McKinnie didn’t play an offensive snap in Week 5 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs or in the last two weeks vs. the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos.
So what makes him think he suddenly can work his way into the rotation?
"Because we’re at the end and you never know what could happen," said McKinnie. "I haven’t been out there banging and everything with everybody else. My body is probably (as) fresh as it’s been at this point in my whole career. There’s no wear and tear on me. I’m fine."