Five days after being dismissed from the NFC Pro Bowl team, Bryant McKinnie tried to explain his absence from two practices last week and his eventual dismissal from the NFC team.
McKinnie, the eight-year veteran Vikings tackle, made his first Pro Bowl this year, but after missing practices on Thursday and Friday, he was dismissed from the team. He said he talked to a trainer for the Pro Bowl team on the phone last Friday and the two were attempting to meet on Friday evening, but that never happened.
McKinnie was criticized for missing the practices but also being able to send messages to his Twitter account about a party he was attending at a Miami night club that lasted into the morning on Thursday.
He said the reason he missed the practices was that he received a Toradol injection before the NFC Championship Game the week before and its numbing effects were wearing off.
"Yes, I did go out, but that has nothing to do with, ‘Oh, he was drunk.' I don't know why or where that came from," McKinnie said on Sirius NFL Radio Thursday. "Nothing. It was the way I started feeling when it started wearing off."
McKinnie said he was dealing with plantar fasciitis during the season and had an ankle injury in the second week of the season that flared up again in early December.
"I kind of had an injury nagging at me. I played through, played through and then in the NFC Championship Game I took a Toradol shot. I don't normally take those because I just don't take them," he said. "I took it for the game and it makes you feel like you're good. We do the exit interview (at Winter Park) and I'm like, ‘Yeah, I'm good.' The next day I come down (to Miami), I go to practice and I still feel good."
He missed Thursday's practice and said Friday he began trying to withdraw from the Pro Bowl, despite his increased desire to play in front of fans from Miami, where he attended college.
"I was trying to play too because it was in Miami and it was my first (Pro Bowl) so I really wanted to play in front of Hurricane fans. But at the end of the day, I felt like my body, I was really pushing it through a long season and then I felt like, ‘This is a good honor, but I just really don't know if I can do it.' People expect you to play at a certain level," he said.
Asked if he felt he had an accountability to his other Pro Bowl teammates – the two other offensive tackles on the NFC team were left to play the entire game because the timing of McKinnie's actions left them without a replacement – he said, "I felt like I waited too long to make my decision."
McKinnie said he hasn't yet heard about any potential fine from the NFL.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
McKinnie: Injection was wearing off
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