Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network tweets that the Falcons are working out free agent fullback Jason McKie and Mike Karney today. The Falcons apparent interest in McKie is likely related to the knee injury Ovie Mughelli suffered in the Falcons win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
While the severity of Mughelli’s injury has yet to be disclosed, it does not appear to be season-ending and Mughelli himself tweeted Sunday evening that he would be back soon and the injury looked worse than it actually was. According to ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas, the Falcons interest in a free agent blocker likely indicates that Mughelli will miss an extended period of time.
McKie and Karney are noted for their physical blocking style, similar to Mughelli. Reserve running back Jason Snelling filled in for Mughelli after he suffered his injury on Sunday, and at various times in the past has done the same. In 2009, when Mughelli was sidelined for two games, the Falcons used Verron Haynes instead of Snelling primarily as the fullback, and likely will use either veteran pickup in a similar manner. The Falcons will have time to get McKie, Karney, or any free agent fullback up to speed in the offense since they have a bye this week.
McKie last played a game with the Chicago Bears in 2009. McKie spent six seasons with the Bears, including the final four where he served as their starter at fullback. He was cut by the Bears after the 2009 season, and then signed by the Saints the following spring. He was cut by the Saints at the end of 2010′s training camp. The Baltimore Ravens would sign him in November, where he spent six weeks on the team’s inactive list. But the team cut him at the outset of this past summer’s training camp.
McKie was originally an undrafted rookie out of Temple, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002. He spent some time that year on the Eagles practice squad before joining the Dallas Cowboys active roster at the end of the year. He would be cut by the Cowboys the following summer before being claimed by the Bears.
Karney spent the past two years with the St. Louis Rams, after five seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He was cut by the Rams this past summer. He helped clear running lanes for Deuce McAllister while with the Saints in the latter part of his career.