Man, the offensive line has been dominating the Ravens-related news today.
Oniel Cousins getting cut, Bryant McKinnie taking part in his first practice as a Raven, now this: center Matt Birk and offensive guard Marshal Yanda returned to practice today.
Birk has been out since having surgery on his left knee early this month, while Yanda has missed two weeks with back spasms, but both were back on the field in the Ravens’ indoor practice facility this afternoon.
While Yanda’s injury never seemed to put his status for the regular season in question, the same couldn’t be said for Birk. The Ravens’ veteran center just started walking around last week, and there’s a chance that he’s not fully healthy by the time the Ravens take on the Steelers Week 1.
Offensive line coach Andy Moeller said he’s confident Birk will be ready to go come Sept. 11, but head coach John Harbaugh sounded less certain when asked about Birk today.
“Matt was a situation where we just have to see where he is,” Harbaugh said. “It takes a certain amount of time. First, we have to see if the surgery actually worked - if there’s going to be improvement - which, that’s a question mark. So, he may be battling this thing all year the same way he did last year. And then just seeing the way he can move the knee and then push it (will be important), and then the next day, how he comes back and recovers. Then, (it will be about) what he can do the next day.
“Obviously, we’re shooting for the opener and anything else we can get would be bonus.”
As for Yanda, the Ravens have held their right guard out of the last two weeks of practice, and he’s been on the sidelines for the past two preseason games, as well.
Today, Yanda’s back was healthy enough for him to return to action along with the rest of the Ravens’ first-team.
“I think it feels good right now,” Harbaugh said. “I think he’s worked real hard and he’s made great progress. I think we have to see how it (progresses).”