McClain a big question mark v. Steelers

Street Talk McClain a big question mark v. Steelers

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OWINGS MILLS – Le’Ron McClain was in no mood to talk, limping through the locker room with a sad expression on his face.

The Baltimore Ravens’ Pro Bowl fullback didn’t practice Wednesday due to a sprained left ankle, and he’s regarded as a major question mark for Sunday night’s AFC North clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s believed he suffered a high-ankle sprain, the type that tends to linger.

The Ravens have already made contingency plans, signing veteran fullback Jason McKie to the roster on Tuesday.

No longer wearing a walking boot, McClain’s ankle looked swollen.

"I’m alright," McClain said. "I’m good."

When asked if he’ll be able to play Sunday, he replied: "I don’t know."

McClain was considerably more upbeat on his Twitter account earlier this week.

"Just got done seeing Doctor Chad! Ankle feeling great," McClain wrote. "Pittsburgh week, I gots to be ready."

The Ravens haven’t officially ruled out McClain, but they aren’t exactly counting on him.

"Le’Ron is a guy who’s going to be day to day," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We think he’s got a chance. I don’t know what the percentages are. It’s a tough ankle sprain, but he’s played with those kind of things before, so we’ll have to see."

McKie was cut by the Chicago Bears this spring after starting for the previous four years. The 5-foot-11, 247-pound former Temple player is preparing to play a significant role against the Steelers as a lead blocker.

"I’m a hard-nosed blocker," McKie said. "I’ve been doing that for years in Chicago. I’ve played against almost every team in the NFL, so I can help out as far as veteran leadership. T

"There’s a lot to learn. The plays carry over, but as far as what they call it and what the formations are, you’ve got to try and learn the lingo and the terminology. I feel pretty comfortable so far."

McKie was no longer a fit for the Bears’ offense once new offensive coordinator Mike Martz arrived.

Cut by the New Orleans Saints twice this year since leaving Chicago, McKie has been out of a job until this week.

"I have an opportunity to play for a great team with a bunch of great guys and a great coach," McKie said. "I just want to come in here and contribute in any way I can. I’ve been anxious to play football."

McKie said he doesn’t harbor a grudge against the Bears.

"There’s no hard feelings, either way," he said. "In the NFL, things change all the time. Guys change teams, offenses change, different coordinators. I’m just thankful for the opportunity I’ve got now. I’m happy they’re still doing well up there, and I’m glad to be with a great team like the Ravens."

McKie is no stranger to the Steelers having played against them last season while blocking for Matt Forte.

Now, he’ll be indoctrinated into the Ravens’ blood rivalry with Pittsburgh.

"I’ve seen it for years," McKie said. "How can you not? Every year they play, they’re two of the top teams in the AFC. We played them last year in Chicago and had a lot of success against them, so that brings a lot of familiarity. I think it’s going to be a great game. It’s a good time to come in and try to help."

 

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson

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