Ravens Notebook: Ngata optimistic about knee sprain

Street Talk Ravens Notebook: Ngata optimistic about knee sprain

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WESTMINSTER — Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata confirmed that he’s sidelined because of a mild sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Ngata is wearing a brace on his knee, and is believed to have suffered a Grade I MCL sprain. He emphasized that a similar injury took him a week or two to recover from previously.

"It’s just a little minor thing," Ngata said. "It’s just a speed bump that I’m trying to get over. I’ll be back sooner than you guys think."

Ngata tore his anterior cruciate ligament during his sophomore year at Oregon. Now, he has avoided another potentially serious injury

"I knew it was an MCL just because it was in my inner knee and that’s where I felt the pain from," Ngata said. "Now, it’s just waiting for me to get back on the field. It should be sooner than later."

The 6-foot-4, 345-pound defensive tackle registered a career-high 94 tackles and three sacks last season and is regarded as a potential Pro Bowl candidate inside.

"I’m just looking to get better and better every year," Ngata said. "Just improve at whatever I’m trying to do, get more tackles, whatever it is, helping the team win."

REED ON THE SHELF: Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed continues to work out on his own at McDaniel College as he remains on the physically unable to perform list.

Although Reed has dashed around the field catching footballs and running drills, it remains a mystery what sort of injury or condition is keeping him from playing football.

When asked to specify exactly what he’s dealing with and when he might practice, Reed replied: "Man, you know you ain’t supposed to ask me that."

Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was also secretive, deferring comment to Ravens coach John Harbaugh or trainer Bill Tessendorf. Harbaugh wasn’t scheduled to conduct interviews and Tessendorf hasn’t been made available to reporters for years.

"I really don’t know," Ryan said. "I know one thing is that Ed is working his tail off out here.  He took David Pittman under his wing and he’s working him out and getting him right, and he’s working just as hard as he can possibly work.

"But whenever we get him, Ed will be ready. Mentally, in the meeting rooms he’s really taking that leadership over. He’s making all the calls and he’s sharp. It’s just about when he can return due to physical play."

INJURY UPDATES: Running back Willis McGahee (left knee) was limited in practice, taking some snaps early and then watching for the remainder of practice.

Nose guard Kelly Gregg returned to practice after experiencing swelling in his left leg. His leg was wrapped up heavily Monday, but now he seems to be fine.

Wide receiver Derrick Mason left the field and had his right knee wrapped, but it’s not believed to be serious.

Wide receiver Patrick Carter’s left arm is in a sling and he’s not practicing.

Also not practicing: offensive tack les Adam Terry (sprained left ankle) and Jared Gaither (sprained right ankle), running backs P.J. Daniels (cramps) and Cory Ross (arm), fullback Justin Green (undisclosed), wide receiver Demetrius Williams (physically unable to perform, lower left leg), tight end Aaron Walker (leg), tight end Daniel Wilcox (PUP, offseason toe surgery), cornerback Samari Rolle (bereavement) and linebacker Terrell Suggs (contract dispute).

Williams is no longer wearing a walking boot and was walking around the practice field without as much of a limp.

Defensive end Dan Cody was seen wearing a protective brace on his right foot and didn’t practice.
Linebacker Edgar Jones limped off the field with a right leg injury.

SCRAPPING: There was a scuffle between center Adam Kraus and defensive tackle Justin Bannan, one of several fights since camp started.

"Everybody’s tough, then the sun comes and beats up on you and everybody’s starting to back up a little bit," Pryce said. "Even Harbs was like, ‘Come on!’ At first, everybody was excited.

"But now it’s like, ‘Are you kidding me? We’ve got 20 more plays, dude. Break it up!’ I don’t think anybody cares about it anymore. You shove him back and just saw, ‘I’ll get him next time."

QUICK HITS: Rookie running back Ray Rice is demonstrating a knack for hiding behind his blockers then dashing upfield for big yardage. … The Ravens’ injury-depleted offensive line couldn’t contain the pass-rushing charge of  linebackers Antwan Barnes and Jarret Johnson or defensive end Trevor Pryce … During a blocking drill, center Jason Brown did a rare 360-degree spin while blocking big defensive tackle Kelly Talavou and still managed to halt the 340-pound lineman in his tracks. Brown has dominated practice sessions. … Center-guard Chris Chester struggled at the point of attack. … Cornerback Chris McAlister had shadowed wide receiver Yamon Figures, but was pushed away as the return specialist hauled in a touchdown. McAlister lobbied unsuccessfully for an offensive pass interference penalty. … McAlister opened camp on the non-football injury list as he was recovering from offseason knee surgery. "He went to Samari’s dad’s funeral and had some swelling from the plane trip, which happens, but Chris is fine," Ryan said. "I love it because he’s working through it, and he’s doing an outstanding job. When he runs out there, I feel pretty confident." … Kicker Matt Stover connected on field goal tries from 20, 31 and 50 yards, clanging a 40-yard attempt off the left upright. Meanwhile, rookie Piotr Czech made all four kicks from 20, 30, 41 and 50 yards. … Cornerback Derrick Martin had the hit of the day in kickoff coverage, steamrolling wide receiver Matt Willis. 

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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