By Samuel Njoku
After a big time battle against the New York Jets, the Ravens quickly turn their attention to the division Pittsburgh Steelers. With the short week to recuperate, it’s easy to believe that Baltimore will be limping onto the field on Thursday. But that doesn’t appear to be the case as the Ravens seem to be healthier than they’ve been all season.
Haloti Ngata has dealt with a knee injury for most of the season and it has held him from practice during that time period. With the short week, Baltimore hasn’t had many extensive practices. Because of this, it’s tough to gauge how healthy the Pro Bowl DT is at this point. But based on his superb play against the Jets, it appears as if the knee is giving him little discomfort. Expect Ngata to play on Thursday.
Whether Dennis Pitta will be available is a separate issue entirely. Flacco’s favorite target has been sidelined this entire season due to a broken hip during the offseason. But after having practiced for a little over a week, many have begun to wonder when the young tight end will make his return to the gridiron.
“He’s closer,” stated John Harbaugh. “Dennis Pitta is closer.”
Not exactly what you’d call breaking news, but it shows that Pitta is making progress. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Pitta is given the clear to play against Pittsburgh, but the Ravens would be more inclined to wait until next weeks game against Minnesota. Ten days of rest could be the difference between injuring his hip again and successfully finishing out the rest of the season.
Lamarr Woodley Doubtful for Thursday
The Steelers aren’t the same defense they were five years ago, but they still possess one of the better pass rushers in Lamaar Woodley. But Pittsburgh will be without him due to a calf injury that he is dealing with. Dick Lebeau will have to find some other way to get pressure on Joe Flacco.
Ravens injury report:
- Chris Canty (Shoulder)
- Brynden Trawick (Ankle)
Steelers Injury Report:
- Marcus Gilbert (Ankle)
- Brett Keisel (Foot)
- Heath Miller (NIR)
- Troy Polamalu (NIR)
- Stevenson Sylvester (Hamstring)
- Shamarko Thomas (Angle)
- LaMarr Woodley (Calf)
- Curtis Brown (Knee)
For more Ravens news and updates, visit Ravens Central.
Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.