Ravens Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata began this season in dominating form, chasing down quarterbacks and tossing aside blockers to tackle running backs.
Since damaging his right shoulder and spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, Ngata hasn't been the same player in recent weeks due to his injuries.
During a 25-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns, Ngata's range was largely confined to the line of scrimmage as he failed to record a tackle for the first time this season and just the second time in his career.
"Now, it's limiting me," Ngata told The Baltimore Sun. "I just can't do what I want to do most of the time."
Ngata was able to record six tackles and a sack against the Dallas Cowboys three games ago despite dealing with the injury, but his impact has declined over the last two games.
He had two tackles in a blowout loss to the Houston Texans and then was shut out against Cleveland as rookie running back Trent Richardson gained 105 yards on the ground.
Ngata said he has no desire to take a week off to recuperate, adding that he doesn't think he'll need surgery to remedy the problems.
"Nah, definitely not," he said. "It's too important to win games. I think it will heal in time. I don't think I'll need surgery. It's just limiting me."
Despite his injuries and reduced production lately, Ravens coach John Harbaugh still gave Ngata high marks for how he's playing and battling through his ailments.
"I thought he played solidly," Harbaugh said. "You're right, he's not 100 percent. He has the shoulder and the knee a little bit, but he is fighting through it. He's playing well."
The Ravens reduced Ngata's playing time to 53 snaps against the Browns.
Teammates have noticed how Ngata is reacting to a difficult situation.
"You admire what he does," rookie defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson said. "He's a good guy, we're playing for each other. We know what he's going through."
twitter.com/RavensInsiderCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun