Ngata has been battling a left knee injury that he suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals last week that kept him off of the practice field this week. Baltimore had to wonder if he was going to be able to give it a go, and it was clear to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh that not enough progress had been made in order to give Ngata an active spot for Sunday’s contest.
In his place, the Ravens will likely mix it up between Terrence Cody and rookie defensive tackle Brandon Williams at the nose tackle position. While Ngata hasn’t been a measure of consistency up front this season, losing depth along the defensive line hurts any team, especially when a player like Ngata is forced out of action.
As for the full list of inactives for the Ravens, here’s what it looks like: defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, wide receiver Marlon Brown, safety Omar Brown, running back Bernard Scott, wide receiver Brandon Stokley, offensive lineman Ryan Jensen and linebacker John Simon.
Marlon Brown was a late addition to the injury report on Friday with a knee injury, and his absence means that the Ravens will only trot out four active receivers. Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson are the only wide receivers at quarterback Joe Flacco‘s disposal on Sunday. Not having Brown means that the Ravens will lose a red zone receiving threat that may limit them if they make it inside the Bears’ 20-yard line.
For the Bears, the key player on the list who happens to be active is tight end Martellus Bennett. It was uncertain throughout the week whether or not Bennett would be able to give it a go with his ankle hindering his performance at practice, but his health was good enough to warrant a start. Having his presence on the field will make the life of quarterback Josh McCown that much easier as he has the red zone option needed to take some pressure off of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
The inactives for the Bears are: defensive end Shea McClellin, defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, long-snapper Pat Mannelly, offensive lineman Jonathan Scott, guard James Brown, quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs.