David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
With the injury to Marshal Yanda, could Bryant McKinnie see time in the starting line-up?
Marshal Yanda was in a walking boot at the Ravens team facility this week. The official team statement is that Yanda "sustained a somewhat serious ankle sprain against the Washington Redskins". The team has not yet ruled him out for this weeks game against the Denver Broncos but it doesn't look good.
Yanda is, by far, the Baltimore Ravens best offensive lineman and has managed to stay healthy for most of his career. If he is ruled out for this weeks game it could cause some major shuffling on the Ravens offensive line.
Some say the team will simply insert former Bengals right guard Bobbie Williams in his spot and keep the rest of the line in tact. However, Williams play, when he has had his chances, this season has been less than spectacular. Granted he was playing left guard instead of his natural right but he looked stiff and slow in his old age. Williams is still recovering from a serious ankle injury of his own.
An other option could be to bring left tackle Bryant McKinnie into the mix. It has been a strange season for McKinnie, who has gone from being the Ravens starter at left tackle to a bench warmer mostly used in head coach John Harbaugh's "jumbo Packages", a role that used to belong to, now starting left guard, Jah Reid. Reid has been often scrutinized for his play this season as well. It can't be easy to change positions all of the sudden at the NFL level and then get thrown into a playoff race but Jah hasn't been horrible.
If the Ravens were to bring McKinnie back into the fold it would most likely mean current left tackle Michael Oher would move back to right tackle, a position in which many fans think he is better suited for to begin with. Then, current right tackle, rookie Kelechi Osemele would move to right guard and current left guard Jah Reid would stay put.
In most situations you would think the least amount of players that are forced to move around the better, but in this case the Ravens best option may be mixing things up a bit and putting "Big Mac" back in the mix. I'm sure he has already missed enough time that they won't have to pay him much in incentive based roster bonuses and he may be the teams best left tackle any way. Also, Oher may be the Ravens best right tackle...
Theses are never easy decisions to make and that is why guys like John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome get the big bucks. If they make the right decision they look like geniuses and the team may flourish. If they make the wrong one it could be a disaster. The scary thing is, there might not even be a right decision. The offensive line is already such a mess they may not even have the players to fix it. I guess we will all find out soon enough.