McKinnie's back: OT returns to Ravens with injury
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie returned to town Sunday afternoon, arriving at Baltimore-Washington International Airport with his luggage and a sore lower back.
The former Pro Bowl blocker said after his flight that his four-day absence from training camp was due to a lower back injury suffered during an accident at his home in South Florida last week. McKinnie said he fell on and twisted his lower back.
"Of course, I'm glad to be back," said McKinnie, who appeared to be lighter than he was in June at a mandatory minicamp when he weighed roughly 354 pounds. "I'm kind of disappointed, though. "I've been training hard, I've been boxing and doing all this stuff. To have a setback like this is disappointing. Why isn't anybody saying I got hurt?
"I don't know what people thought was going on. How I got hurt is running out of the house. It was slippery and I fell and hurt my lower back. You can't be playing football when your back is hurting. When I fell, I said, 'I know I ain't going out like this.'"
McKinnie was placed on the reserve/did not report list last week, and has been incurring daily $30,000 fines under the NFL collective bargaining agreement.
Although McKinnie said his back was a bit stiff after his flight, he appeared to be walking without difficulty and was carrying his own bags.
McKinnie emphasized that he thinks he could begin practicing this week.
"I think I could be back on the field soon," he said. "It don't hurt like it did when I first did it."
Following his fall, McKinnie said he had his chiropractor immediately contact the Ravens training staff.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week that he hadn't spoken to McKinnie, but mentioned the chiropractor reaching out to the team on McKinnie's behalf.
Since suffering the injury, McKinnie said he's been getting treatment, including applying heat, getting massages and stretching exercises to loosen up his back.
"I didn't know if I needed X-rays or what," McKinnie said. "I put heat on it, got massages stretched it out and my hamstrings and calves. I would go in and get treatment and at night a lady would give me a massage."
McKinnie said he was headed directly to the Ravens' training complex to have his back checked out and run the conditioning test if his condition allows.
McKinnie was held out of a mandatory minicamp in June due to conditioning issues and assigned a target weight of 345 pounds for training camp.
When asked how much he weighs currently, McKinnie replied: "I'm about to find out right now. I'm probably under 350, but I've been out for about four days. So, that makes a difference."
Cut by the Minnesota Vikings last year after beefing up to 387 pounds during the NFL lockout, McKinnie signed a two-year contract with the Ravens last August.
He's due a $3.2 million base salary this year and was paid a $500,000 roster bonus in March after pledging to general manager Ozzie Newsome that he would get into shape.
McKinnie said he's hoping to put the scrutiny surrounding him back on football instead of about his weight issues.
McKinnie has also made headlines for financial matters, including a $4.5 million lawsuit stemming from a loan taken out during the NFL work stoppage last year.
"Yeah, I don't want everybody talking about me," McKinnie said. "I had an accident. I'm over it. I'm here to play football. I'm ready to have a good season. I'm in some of my best shape ever, so let's get to work."
-- The Sports Xchange
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