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Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said it was difficult to watch his team get beat 17-7 by the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, especially since he felt he was ready to play.
“The coaches didn’t feel comfortable in making it any worse,” Ngata said after the game. “I felt ready to go today, but we didn’t want to take the chance of getting a worse injury.”
Ngata was out on the field at Paul Brown Stadium during pre-game warm-ups testing his injured right ankle by applying weight via offensive lineman Bryan Mattison.
But in the end, Ngata was deemed unfit as a precautionary measure and missed the first game since he was a first-round draft pick in 2006.
That opened the door for Justin Bannan to start.
“We made [the decision] right before the game,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “We tried to get him in, but he just couldn’t play. Of course we miss him. He’s a great player.”
Bannan totaled four tackles, including one for a loss, but as Bengals running back Cedric Benson was topping the 100-yard mark for the second time this season, it was apparent that Ngata was missed.
Said Harbaugh: “I thought Justin filled in nicely and played well, but of course we want Haloti in there if we can.”
Harbaugh declined to comment on Ngata’s injury in his press conference on Monday. Because the Ravens play the Cleveland Browns on “Monday Night Football” next week, the first injury report will come out on Thursday.