Haloti Ngata sat out yesterday's practice, but the Pro Bowl defensive tackle says that his injured left knee won't keep him out of Sunday's game against the Patriots.
"I just tweaked it a little bit, my MCL," Ngata said today. "It's just a mild one. I'll play Sunday."
The 6-6, 340 pound defensive tackle injured the knee while running a route in the Ravens' goal line offensive package in Sunday's win over the Broncos. Ngata got tangled up with Broncos safety Darcel McBath, and fell to the turf awkwardly. He was down on the field for a few minutes and missed a couple plays on the ensuing defensive possession, but returned to the field on that drive.
Ngata said this injury is similar to one he had last season. He plans on having a light practice today, giving him a chance to work the knee back towards playing shape.
"It's just real stiff in the mornings, soreness a little bit," Ngata said. "It's slowly getting less and less sore."
Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison defended the decision to use Ngata on offense, saying that he has no problem with one of his top defensive players being utilized in either of the other two phases.
"The number one thing that Haloti would say, that I would say [is] 'Let's put the best players out on the field at any given time to help us win,'" Mattison said. "And that's [how] every decision is made, and if him being out there in that situation helped us win, which it did, or we thought it would, then he's out there.
"Just like our special teams. Our special teams are an equal part of the three phases, and you can't take guys and say in a crucial situation this guy isn't going to be out there because we need him on offense or defense. It doesn't work that way. You have to have all three phases doing the same thing. Bottom line is we're lucky he's fine, but that's part of it. He could have [injured himself] running over to me after a series."