UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 8, at 2:40 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
In addition to have a Super Bowl to celebrate, the Ravens can rejoice in knowing that Ngata will be okay after an MRI revealed no damage.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported the news of Ngata's knee:
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer
Haloti Ngata's MRI showed an MCL sprain. No surgery necessary. He'll be fine.2013-2-8 19:24:39
You could see the difference that Ngata made to the Ravens' defensive line after he left the Super Bowl. The 49ers were able to run the ball up the middle as soon as the injury happened, nearly setting themselves up to pull off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Knowing that Ngata will be able to recover without surgery and be ready for next season is of great relief to the Ravens.
--End of update--
The Baltimore Ravens updated us about his potential return to the game (via Twitter):
Injury Update: Haloti Ngata has a knee sprain and his return is doubtful.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 4, 2013
The big man limped off the field after the San Francisco 49ers scored late in the third quarter on a Frank Gore run. Ngata didn’t get up right away and then exited the field as soon as he was helped to his feet.
San Francisco closed the gap to 28-20 on the third-quarter play that he was injured on.
Ngata, a massive 6’4” and 340-pound nose tackle, had recorded two tackles and one hit on QB Colin Kaepernick prior to the injury.
He is also a huge part of the Ravens’ success defending against the run. San Francisco has quickly gotten back in the game, and his absence could end up hurting Baltimore down the stretch.
The 49ers have run for just 87 yards through three quarters, 36 of which have come on four scrambles by Kaepernick.
The 29-year-old veteran was plagued by injuries throughout the 2012 season, but worked through them and still managed to make a big impact for his team.
He racked up five sacks, nearly tying a career high, which he set in 2010 with 5.5.
Baltimore’s defense wasn’t the same this year, even with Ngata on the field.
The usually dominant unit allowed over 120 yards per game on the ground (20th) in the NFL after being one of the best in the league during his first six professional seasons.
We’ll update you with the latest as it becomes available from New Orleans.