Poor conditioning eventually cost Bryant McKinnie his long-time job at left tackle for the Minnesota Vikings. Now it could be doing the same with the Baltimore Ravens.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens opened mandatory minicamp on Tuesday without two former Vikings. Center Matt Birk had surgery to fix varicose veins in his legs. Meanwhile, McKinnie was reportedly missing due to concerns about his conditioning. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun their absences were excused and that McKinnie was inside the team’s practice facility.
But just as it happened in Minnesota, McKinnie’s weight could be becoming an issue for his new coach. McKinnie, 32, started nine straight seasons for the Vikings at left tackle after he was the team’s first-round pick in 2002. But he was cut a day into training camp last season when he reportedly showed up weighing more than 400 pounds.
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Now listed at 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds, the big tackle is having similar issues.
“Bryant McKinnie is a guy that we held out just for conditioning purposes,” Harbaugh told the Sun. “We’re going to probably continue to do that (during the minicamp) and continue to try and get him in good shape. I think, practice-wise, he’s just as well doing the conditioning part of it.”
McKinnie, who was given a $500,000 roster bonus by the Ravens in March, had participated in the team’s offseason program and was at two of the three organized team activities open to the media.
Charlie Johnson stepped into the starting left tackle spot for Minnesota after McKinnie was released and struggled in his first year with the Vikings. McKinnie started every game last season for Baltimore after eventually working himself into shape.
Minnesota hopes it has drafted another long-term answer at left tackle by selecting USC’s Matt Kalil with the fourth overall pick in April’s draft and has already anointed him the starter. Johnson will move inside to left guard.