OWINGS MILLS — A painful NFL offseason ritual transpired for Keydrick Vincent shortly after the Baltimore Ravensâ€™ playoff loss as the offensive guard underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Vincent had what he described as successful surgery a week after the Ravensâ€™ 15-6 AFC divisional playoff defeat to the Indianapolis Colts. The former Pittsburgh Steelers backup started 12 games at right guard for the AFC North champions. He missed four games with thigh and groin injuries listed on the official injury report.
â€œI played hurt all year and I tried to hold off as long as I could on getting the surgery done,â€ Vincent said Monday afternoon in a telephone interview from his Florida home. â€œWe lost the game, and I just got it done right away. Now, Iâ€™m focused on getting healthy and getting ready for minicamp. I feel good. It was a clean surgery, no problems.â€
Vincent said doctors told him that he should be able to resume workouts, including running, in three weeks and forecasted that he should be 100 percent by minicamps this spring. He missed the final regular-season game with a groin injury, but returned to start without incident against the Colts.
Injuries have been an issue for Vincent during his two-year stint in Baltimore, limiting him to 21 regular-season starts and one playoff game.
Vincent was part of a blocking unit that allowed just 17 sacks, a franchise record. The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder is entering the final year of a three-year contract and is due a $1.6 million base salary for 2007 after making $1.25 million in 2006.
â€œIâ€™m looking forward to next season, and we have big goals for next year,â€ said Vincent, who turns 29 in April. â€œIt still hurts that the season is over and Iâ€™m just hoping we are in the mix for the Super Bowl next year.â€
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.