OWINGS MILLS — Marshal Yanda was prepared to hang up his cleats if he did not make it through the 2018 season healthy.
But the seven-time Pro Bowl guard of the Baltimore Ravens played all 16 games last year and entered the offseason feeling well with no thoughts of retirement.
“Just with the injuries that I have had, last year was a wait-and-see kind of deal,” Yanda said following Baltimore’s final practice of mandatory minicamp last week. “I just didn’t know how my body was going to hold up, so I was prepared. If I was going to end the season on Injured Reserve, then I was probably going to hang it up, just because, like I said, you don’t want to keep pushing your body too far. But the good thing is, I made it through unscathed, and I’m healthy, and I feel really good, so I’m, like I said, I’m grateful.”
Yanda earned yet another Pro Bowl selection last season after playing just two games in 2017 and undergoing his second shoulder surgery. The 34-year-old had no thoughts of retirement afterward.
Unlike recent years, Yanda was able to partake in minicamp and spend the offseason preparing for the upcoming year rather than rehabbing an injury.
“I’m feeling really good about playing this fall,” he said. “The best thing is that I didn’t have to recover from an offseason surgery, so I didn’t have to rehab this offseason. I could lift, and I could do some shoulder maintenance, but I didn’t have to get any range of motion back. I didn’t have to do rehab, so that was a big offseason for me of not having to do that. I could get stronger and feel good about it.”
Yanda signed a one-year extension in April that will keep him under contract in Baltimore through the 2020 season, almost guaranteeing he will finish his career where it began with the 2007 draft.
“I’m not going to get into my contract details. Let’s just say, I wanted to be here. Eric wanted me to be here, and that was the main goal,” Yanda said. “We just wanted to make sure I could finish it here, and that’s important to me, just being able to play my entire career here.”
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