Street Talk McKinnie seeking answers to weighty issues

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BALTIMORE — Bulky offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie wants to get to the bottom of why he’s having trouble losing weight.

So, the Baltimore Ravens’ left tackle will meet with a doctor Monday to discuss his diet and metabolism.

McKinnie said he currently weighs about 360 pounds after playing at 370 pounds last season after being cut by the Minnesota Vikings last summer when he tipped the scales at 387 pounds.

"I think it’s my metabolism," said McKinnie, who’s been activated from the non-football injury list after passing the conditioning test Friday. "I don’t know how to diagnose it until I find out on Monday. It’s just to better help me with my whole weight thing because this wasn’t an issue my whole career until about three years ago.

"I think there’s kind of like an imbalance or something maybe that is going on with metabolism. Thank the Ravens for even going out and getting a doctor to come in and check me out so we can take care of this issue.”

McKinnie ballooned up to nearly 390 pounds during the NFL lockout last year, causing his exit from the Vikings.

Signed to a two-year contract last year and due a $3.2 million base salary this fall, McKinnie was paid a $500,000 roster bonus in March after pledging to general manager Ozzie Newsome that he would get into better shape.

McKinnie said he gained more weight after he slipped and fell at his South Florida home prior to training camp, not showing up for the first four days of practice.

"I was lower before the accident but for me to gain that much weight I knew that it was just water weight," McKinnie said. "It will be something that I address on Monday with the doctors and how to actually treat it. Like I was explaining to coach [John] Harbaugh, in the past, I was doing stuff like going to practice and after practice I would go with sweat suits and stuff on and go play tennis for an hour and a half just to make weight.

"It kind of takes a toll on your body trying to do all that. I’m sure other people in the league have to do stuff like that to try and keep your weight down. Actually, you’re dehydrating yourself. So, I’m finally going to get checked and see what’s going on and correct it."

As for his back, McKinnie said it’s improving rapidly.

He expects to be ready for the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 10.

"My back is feeling better," said McKinnie, who started every game for the Ravens last season at left tackle. "When I came back, I was good enough to travel and everything and then I got more treatment. I kind of practiced the little conditioning thing. I didn’t do the full test, just to make sure my back held up. And then I felt I was good enough to do it and I just did it.”

"If you all check my track record, I don’t stay injured at all. I don’t miss games with injuries and stuff like that. The whole being injured thing wasn’t a big deal to me. It’s just how fast I could recover. I’ll be ready by next week or whatever.”

McKinnie said that he fell when bricks on a staircase outside his house came loose, causing him to lose his balance.

"I have a brick staircase outside my house and I was actually running to the car and one of the bricks came loose," McKinnie said. "It wasn’t cemented down, I guess, and I didn’t know it. I kind of slipped and it caused me to fall,"

The injury delayed his arrival at training camp.

"I was getting back spasms," McKinnie said. "You don’t want to sit on the plane for two hours. I went to the chiropractor or whatever and he called up here and told them that they were giving me treatment until he felt like I was well enough to get on a plane.

"That’s behind me. Now, I took the test and I am done. I’m going to go in and get some extra running in. We had to go two days trying to get acclimated with no real pads on. So, Monday I’ll come back and I’m in full pads.”

The Ravens have been lining up Michael Oher at left tackle and having rookie second-round draft pick Kelechi Osemele play right tackle.

Ultimately, McKinnie expects to regain his starting left tackle spot.

"I feel confident," McKinnie said. "I’m lighter, believe it or not than I was at this time last year. I just have more time to practice. I have a better confidence within myself this year compared to last year, too. Last year, my confidence wasn’t that high. Football-wise, I have more confidence this year."


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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 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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