Baltimore Ravens star nose tackle Haloti Ngata missed last week’s overtime loss to the Chicago Bears, as he suffered a left knee injury the previous week against the Cincinnati Bengals. He somehow managed to keep on playing (a credit to his toughness), but the injury was too significant to allow him to play against the Bears. The Ravens listed Ngata as questionable on the injury report before finally ruling him inactive as a game-time decision after deeming him not healthy enough to play during pre-game warm-ups.
According to Jef Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Haloti Ngata is the only player on the Ravens not practicing today, and his practice status needs to be monitored closely throughout the week. Ngata has 31 tackles and 1.5 sacks this season, and the star DL is still a dominant force who pushes the pocket and fills up gaps nicely in run defense.
The Ravens face the New York Jets this week, so that’s definitely a winnable matchup for this team. They’ll have to hope, though, that the Jets win-lose pattern draws to a close this week, because the Jets are due for a win when it comes to that pattern. It’s too early to deem whether or not Ngata will be healthy for this week’s game, but my guess is that he’ll most likely be out there. I mean, he was a game-time decision last week and kept playing through the knee injury when he initially suffered it. Even though he missed today’s practice, it was just a Wednesday practice, and Ngata should be good-to-go against the Jets.
Geno Smith struggles mightily under pressure, so some interior heat from Ngata would do wonders. Elite pass rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil will do most of the work, but that pressure up the middle impacts quarterbacks at a significantly higher rate (it’s much more difficult to achieve, though). Ngata’s hard work in run defense will also be critical against Chris Ivory, who has been the Jets most effective skill position player this season due to his hard-nosed running style. Plays won’t come easy against star center Nick Mangold, but Haloti Ngata is talented enough to make a difference.