Ravens rookie Kelechi Osemele said he expects to start at tackle

Ravens  rookie offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele declared that he expects to start at tackle Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

When asked if he'll start, Osemele replied: "I think so, it looks like it."

Osemele has split time between right tackle and left guard, indicating Saturday that he'll play tackle in his NFL regular-season debut.

The development triggers a ripple effect along the line with Osemele slated to start at right tackle.

Michael Oher will shift from right tackle to left tackle, according to two league sources with knowledge of the situation.

And former Pro Bowl left tackle Bryant McKinnie heads to the bench after restructuring his contract from $3.2 million to $2.2 million Tuesday. He's still expected to have a situational role.

Veteran Bobbie Williams will start at left guard against his old team.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has always said he would start the best five linemen, and Osemele has evidently proven that he's one of the best five.

The former All-Big 12 selection from Iowa State started two preseason games at right
tackle and another two at left guard.

"It's not a game-time decision," Harbaugh said earlier this week in regards to Osemele's status.

When asked if Osemele will have a substantial role, Harbaugh replied: "Yes, I will confirm that. K.O. has done a good job."

awilson@baltsun.com