Ravens Notebook: Haloti Ngata sprains knee

Street Talk Ravens Notebook: Haloti Ngata sprains knee

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WESTMINSTER — The Baltimore Ravens experienced a scare Sunday morning when defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was carted off the field with an injured right knee after getting his leg twisted during a full-contact drill.

Silence reigned at McDaniel College as Ngata was on the ground in obvious pain before limping to the sideline and being driven off the field for treatment.

Hours later, the Ravens were relieved to receive a prognosis of a mild sprained medial collateral ligament. It’s unclear exactly how long Ngata will be out, but typically injuries like this one are day-to-day.

"We don’t think it’s serious, but we’ve got to find out as we go," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

Drafted in the first round two years ago out of Oregon, the 6-foot-4, 345-pound lineman is regarded as a future Pro Bowl selection. Last year, Ngata had a career-high 94 tackles and three sacks working in tandem with nose guard Kelly Gregg.

The prospect of his potential loss alarmed his teammates.

"He’s a big part of what we do, able to stop the run, allowing us to kind of double up on things because he’s such a presence, him and Kelly," linebacker Bart Scott said. "It is scary because that’s how I eat. He keeps guys off me, and I eat."

Meanwhile, running back Willis McGahee is sidelined with a lower left leg injury. His leg is wrapped in a black compression sleeve and he was limping around the field.

McGahee said he doesn’t think this will be a long-term injury. Rookie running back Ray Rice worked with the starters and was extremely impressive again.

"We are hoping to get him back soon," Harbaugh said. "I don’t know what the term is on him, but we are hopeful."

Offensive tackle Jared Gaither is out with a sprained right ankle with Adam Terry taking his spot on the left side and reserve Mike Kracalik filling at right tackle in Terry’s place.

"He woke up and it was swollen," Harbaugh said. "It was tight, so they’re evaluating it still."

Also not practicing: safety Ed Reed (physically unable to perform list, undisclosed), cornerback David Pittman (PUP, foot), running backs Cory Ross (arm) and P.J. Daniels (cramps), offensive tackle David Hale (undisclosed), tight end Daniel Wilcox (PUP, toe surgery) and wide receiver Demetrius Williams (PUP, lower left leg).

C-MAC IS BACK: Cornerback Chris McAlister practiced one day afer passed his physical and was activated from the non-football injury list. He underwent offseason knee surgery.

He intercepted a Troy Smith pass and returned it for a touchdown, but seemed to be favoring his leg a bit in drills and wasn’t smooth out of his cuts.

TAKING A BREAK: Several players ages 30 and over were given a day off under a program that rests veterans every third day, including: kicker Matt Stover, Gregg, cornerback Corey Ivy, linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo and Gary Stills and defensive end Trevor Pryce.

"The guys who are over 30 just don’t recover as quickly," Harbaugh said. "When it starts piling up on them, they need that extra day off."

HARD-HITTING: Rookie running back Allen Patrick took a beating as he was leveled in consecutive runs up the middle by Scott and defensive lineman Dwan Edwards. 

Scott hit Patrick so hard that he knocked his own helmet off. At 6-1, 200 pounds, Patrick runs with an extremely high pad level and his chest became a prime target.

"That’s typical of practice all year," Scott said. "We realize that if the offense is going to get better we’re going to have to turn it up. If the defense is going to get better, the offense is going to have to challenge the defense." 

QUICK HITS:  Rookie safety Tom Zbikowski is adjusting to the speed of the game and had a strong afternoon practice with several pass deflections. Fellow rookie Haruki Nakamura intercepted Kyle Boller and has several picks since practice began Friday. Nakamura worked with the starters ahead of Zbikowski and veteran Jim Leonhard … Scott said he’s not concerned with unsigned franchise player Terrell Suggs’ absence from camp due to a contract dispute. "He’s always showed a tremendous ability every year to be in shape and ready to play," Scott said. "He knows he has to be accountable to us, but you never talk about a man and his money. Suggs, rest up and be ready to go when it’s time." … The Ravens’ pair of raven birds dubbed "Rise" and "Conquer" will visit camp today during the morning practice. The birds will perform during the team’s pregame shows at M&T Bank Stadium … Due to mandatory weightlifting, offensive and defensive linemen will be unavailable for autographs or interviews today. On Tuesday, linebackers, tight ends, running backs, safeties and kickers are required to lift. … Rookie kicker Piotr Czech missed two field goal attempts, wide left from 52 yards and clanged one off the right goal post.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital
Photo by Sabina Moran

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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