Baltimore Ravens star nose tackle Haloti Ngata missed last week’s game against the Chicago Bears with a knee injury after being a game-time decision, and he first suffered the knee injury the prior week against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ngata played through the pain, but he was unable to play the week after. It was a bit of a surprise to see him miss the game against the Bears with the knee injury, and it would also be a surprise for him to miss today’s big game against the New York Jets.
But even though Ngata plans on playing and is largely expected to play, there is still a chance that he is inactive today. According to a league source close to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Haloti Ngata will be a game-time decision today with a left knee injury after being able to practice on Thursday and Friday (he missed Wednesday’s practice).
It’s not a surprise to hear that Ngata is a game-time decision, but it’s still disappointing to hear that he will need clearance at pre-game warm-ups in order to play today. I think we’ll most likely see Ngata out there, but be prepared for a second straight week of no Ngata on the Ravens defensive line; there are no guarantees that he will play.
The Ravens also listed star cornerback Lardarius Webb and star linebacker Daryl Smith as questionable for today’s game, but both players will start. Having Ngata in the fold would be a huge boost to the Ravens run defense against a hard-nosed Jets rushing attack led by Chris Ivory (the Jets love running and will lean on it with Geno Smith struggling), and Ngata would also help the Ravens interior pass rush out and help put Smith on his toes. Smith struggles mightily when under pressure, and Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs could really mess with his head.
Again, everyone expects Haloti Ngata to play today, but keep an eye out on his status just in case. If he does play, that is great news for the Ravens, and he will battle it out with Jets elite center Nick Mangold. With the Jets at 5-5 and the Ravens at 4-6, today’s game is extremely important for the Ravens to win in the battle for the final playoff spot in the AFC.