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McKinnie absent from camp

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McKinnie absent from camp

Left tackle Bryant McKinnies future with the Ravens is unclear after he didnt make it to the practice field for the start of training camp Thursday.

He contacted us through a representative. Hes dealing with an issue right now. I dont really want to speak for him on that. Im going to let him speak for himself on that, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of McKinnie, who apparently is not in Baltimore.

McKinnie, 32, was held out of a mandatory minicamp for conditioning purposes in June, three months after the Ravens gave him a 500,000 roster bonus with the understanding that he would get himself into better shape in 2012. He started every game for the Ravens in 2011 but weighed at least 360 pounds.

He also battled conditioning issues during his nine years with the Minnesota Vikings, before he came to Baltimore.

With McKinnie absent during Thursdays practice, Michael Oher switched from the right side, where he played last year, to McKinnies former spot at left tackle. Harbaugh almost made it sound as if the switch is permanent, an ominous sign for McKinnie, who is due to make 3.2 million in 2012 if he makes the team.

Michael Oher is the left tackle, Harbaugh said, and just for the record, weve always believed Michael Oher is a left tackle here. We were going to put the five best linemen out (on the field) last year and Michael was at right tackle. Im very comfortable with Michael at left tackle. Until further notice, hes a left tackle. My point is weve got to find a right tackle and therell be a heated competition for that spot.

Saying he needs to find a right tackle certainly makes it sound as if the team isnt counting on McKinnie.

But the problem with counting out McKinnie is the Ravens dont have a proven alternative. Second-year tackle Jah Reid, the teams third-round pick in 2011, is out with a calf injury and has never started a game. An undrafted free agent, Jack Cornell, took some snaps with the starters at right tackle Thursday.

Kelechi Osemele, the teams second-round pick in 2012, could step in at right tackle, but hes a rookie and is currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list because of back spasms.

Quarterback Joe Flacco said he hoped McKinnie joins the team soon.

I think its important to have our whole team here, Flacco said. Bryants on the roster and we need to get him here. Hes a good player. We need to get him here, get him running plays, and get him ready for the season, get him in football shape and make our decision from there.

Asked if the issue keeping McKinnie from camp could last a long time, Harbaugh said, In all honesty, I really dont know. We should know more here soon.

Also absent from the practice field Thursday was All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, the Ravens highest-paid player after signing a five-year, 61 million contract last September. Harbaugh said the team held Ngata out after he tweaked a hamstring while running the teams pre-camp conditioning test.

Were going to take it slow and make sure hes OK, Harbaugh said.

NOTES
Two days after he worked out for the Ravens in Baltimore, offensive guard Eric Steinbach signed with the Miami Dolphins Thursday. There was speculation that the Ravens might add Steinbach to the mix of players competing with Bobbie Williams for the starting left guard spot.

The Ravens practiced for two-and-a-half hours in the heat of a 100-degree afternoon. The players wore shorts, shells and helmets.

Practice snapshot: With the offense 25 yards from the end zone, Flacco dropped back, looked right and led receiver Jacoby Jones on a corner route identical to the one Lee Evans ran in the final seconds of the AFC title game. The pass was on the money, and Jones ... caught it.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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