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Haloti Ngata Getting Back To Player He Wants To Be

Posted Dec 8, 2012

The Pro Bowl defensive tackle has battled through injuries this season.

Haloti Ngata is finally starting to feel like his old self again.

After dealing with a shoulder injury earlier in the year, Ngata is getting healthy and has seen a difference in his game recently.

“I’m starting to feel a lot better,” Ngata said. “Now I’m starting to get back to the player that I want to be.”

Ngata first started dealing with the injury back in Week 6, and it lingered for about six weeks.

The Pro Bowler played through the injury for the most part, despite sitting out the Week 10 victory against Oakland. He also played diminished snaps in games against the Texans (Week 7) and Browns (Week 9).

Trying to play through the injury limited Ngata to some extent and he has just 11 tackles in his last five games. He had 30 tackles in his first six.

The Ravens have been cautious with Ngata, but he’s such an integral part of the defense that they didn’t want to shut him down for a prolonged amount of time.

“It just makes it longer for me, or any player, to come back when you’re playing injured,” Ngata said. “It makes the process longer. That being said, I’m starting to feel better and I’m starting to come back, so it feels good.”

He has not been listed on the injury report for the last two weeks, meaning he has been a full participant in practice. He has played 85 percent of the defensive snaps, and the biggest difference he’s seen is that he’s able to be more physical at the line of scrimmage.

“I try to be physical, just be the player I’m trying to be,” Ngata said. “I think I’m almost pretty close to being back to 100 percent.”

Ngata has been a Pro Bowler the last three seasons and was getting some early attention as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate before getting hurt.

Now that he’s working his way back, the Ravens hope that he’s healthy and back to his old self for the playoff push down the stretch.

“I’ve been seeing him be able to use his power a lot, throw guys around like he used to,” nose tackle Terrence Cody said. “We need him. I’m hoping he’ll be 100 percent for the playoff run."

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