I had doubts about whether two-time Pro Bowl fullback Le'Ron McClain would be able to play this Sunday against the Steelers as soon as I saw him wearing a protective boot over his sprained right ankle following the Ravens' win over the Buccaneers.
Those doubts increased today when the Ravens announced that they signed veteran fullback Jason McKie and waived safety Ken Hamlin.
The move seems to indicate that McClain is questionable at best for the Ravens' key matchup with AFC North rival Pittsburgh this Sunday night.
McKie gives the Ravens another fullback on the roster, and a proven lead blocker out of the backfield.
The nine-year veteran spent seven seasons with the Bears before signing with the Saints this offseason. He was with New Orleans throughout training camp and most of the preseason before being waived.
McKie checks in at 5-11, 247 pounds. He's played in 88 career games (47 starts), and has 29 carries for 84 yards and three touchdowns as well as 68 receptions for 364 yards and three TDs.
Hamlin has now been cut by the Ravens for the second time this season. He was let go on Sept. 22 and then re-signed a week later when Baltimore cut defensive end Trevor Pryce. The veteran safety appeared in seven games for the Ravens this season, posting three tackles and an interception.
McClain has never missed a game in his four-year NFL career. He indicated after the Buccaneers game that he hoped to be able to play against the Steelers.
Head coach John Harbaugh offered no update on McClain's status yesterday, but it looks like there's a better chance than not that McKie will be the Ravens' lone fullback in uniform on Sunday.