As the Ravens endure one of their worst seasons as far as serious injuries to key defensive personnel, one of their top defenders has continued to become healthier and more active on the field.
Hampered by a right shoulder problem and a sprained right medial collateral ligament in his knee earlier this season and held out of the Ravens' rout of the Oakland Raiders, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata had a resurgent game against the Washington Redskins.
Ngata had five tackles, six quarterback hurries and two quarterback hits during the 31-28 overtime loss, forcing rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III out of the game with a knee injury in the fourth quarter. Ngata also knocked off the Heisman Trophy winner's helmet in the first quarter when he was flagged for unnecessary roughness, a penalty that didn't draw a fine since Ngata didn't actually lead with the crown of his helmet.
Against the Redskins, Ngata participated in 63 of the 72 defensive snaps for 88 percent of the playing time.
Since missing the Raiders game on Nov. 11, the 6-foot-4, 330-pounder has 14 tackles and one sack in the ensuing four games. For the season, Ngata has 46 tackles and four sacks.
"That's a big one for us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday. "If Haloti can get to the level that we are accustomed to seeing him play at with being healthy, that would be a big boost for us.
"I think he's really getting close. Like you said, he played really well last week. If he can take that a notch up this week, that's big for our team."