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Ravens' Haloti Ngata encouraged by how his knee feels

Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata is encouraged about how his sprained left knee is coming around heading into Thursday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ngata returned to start in a 19-3 win over the New York Jets on Sunday after missing one game against the Chicago Bears. Ngata had one tackle early in the game against the Jets, bringing down running back Chris Ivory for no gain while being blocked by Jets center Nick Mangold.

"It felt great, went out there and warmed up before the game and felt good enough to go," said Ngata, who has 32 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks this season. "It actually stayed loose throughout the game, and it loosened up more. So, it felt good. it was great to get back on the field, and our schedule is great for this game Thursday, a lot of mental [preparation] and just trying to get ready for the Pittsburgh game."

Now, Ngata is getting ready to try to chase around Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has led the Steelers to three consecutive wins with his arm strength and improvisational skills.

"He's just great at loose play, really," Ngata said. "He's just hard to tackle, and then he's just able to find some receivers and throw the ball. He's just a great quarterback that way. We've just got to do a great job at trying to plaster those guys that are leaking out and get him down when we have the chance."

NOTE: Ngata and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu are holding competing food drives, accepting donations through www.blitzhunger.com

"Right now, I'm up, so that's pretty cool," Ngata said. "It's a competition between the cities. If we win, hopefully we win two things in one day. That would be cool."

awilson@baltsun.com

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