|Ravens DT Haloti Ngata could have played Sunday, but resting was a better option to allow him further healing of shoulder and knee injuries. (US Presswire)|
With the tough three-game stretch that awaits the Ravens, sitting DT Haloti Ngata on Sunday was probably for the best. After all, the Ravens did well without him, beating the Raiders 55-20.
Starting for Ngata was rookie DT DeAngelo Tyson, a seventh round draft pick out of Georgia. Tyson saw 30 snaps on Sunday and recorded a quarterback hit and two pass deflections.
Though Ngata dressed for the game and was active, the Ravens were able to jump out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter. This allowed Baltimore to rest Ngata, who's dealing with shoulder and knee injuries.
“We were hoping that we wouldn't have to play him and it turned out that we didn't have to play him, so we decided to rest him in this game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It was just the way the game went.”
However, CB Jimmy Smith also didn't play a snap on Sunday as he's dealing with injuries to his lower abdomen and groin. Smith has been able to play in Baltimore's previous eight games but wasn't able to go on Sunday.
Smith was active and suited up but Harbaugh decided to rest him since his ailments bothered him early Sunday.
“Jimmy was having a tough time getting warmed up as pre-game was going along,” Harbaugh said. “It just did not work for him with the tightness in his groins that he has been experiencing. We're going to have to take a hard look at that and just see where he's at. This is the first time it has gotten to the point where he just couldn't get loose enough to play.
“We pushed it right up until game time, we activated him. We felt like he would get loose as he has in the previous pre-games, and it just did not. So, we tried him again at halftime, we brought him out at halftime, and he was unable to get loose enough.”
With Smith, concerns range from simple muscle soreness to a potential sports hernia. The latter would most likely require eventual surgery. However, Harbaugh did say there were no major injuries after the game.
Reid steps in: Though LG Bobbie Williams started and played the first two series in Baltimore's win over Oakland, backup Jah Reid came in on the third series and played the rest of the way.
Reid's 50 snaps against Oakland became the first extensive NFL action Reid has received since being drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft.
“Jah Reid has really been coming on and practicing well,” Harbaugh said. “What Jah needs is playing time. He needs experience, he needs snaps on the field, so it was our plan to start him out there in the third series no matter what, and then play him as much as we could. So it was good to have that opportunity, and he played well.”
In addition, Harbaugh said Williams wasn't 100 percent and that with Baltimore scoring 10 points on its first two drives that it gave the Ravens a chance to rest him. Williams has a left ankle injury and is still experience soreness in his right ankle due to breaking it last December.
Following the game, Williams said it was a good opportunity to get some rest but that he could have re-entered the game if needed.
“We put up 10 quick points out there and it felt a little sore, though it was pretty good,” Williams said. “But it gave us a chance to let the young guy get some experience. It ended up working out pretty good, to give me a chance to rest up for next week.”
For the time being, it's unknown whether Baltimore will start Williams or go with Reid at left guard against the Steelers next week.
TEs involved: Six days after Harbaugh publicly said the tight ends needed to be more involved in the offense, Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson came through with some big plays.
Pitta had five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown and Dickson had two catches for 59 yards, which included a deep 40-yard reception he could've taken in for a touchdown if he didn't stumble.
Pitta was pleased with the production that he and Dickson were able to give Baltimore on Sunday.
“Every week we are part of the game plan but you really can't predict how much you are going to be involved, because that is dictated by the defensive looks,” Pitta said. “But we have the same mindset going into each game. We were able to take advantage of some of the things we saw on film, and it ended up being a good day for us.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco said Oakland's defense single-covered the Ravens tight ends and left the middle of the field open for the most part within its scheme. Therefore, Flacco went to the open targets, which were the tight ends early in the game.
“The biggest thing is that the safeties really got off those hashes and were going wide and really (defending) Torrey (Smith) mainly and then Anquan (Boldin) underneath,” Flacco said. “They were trying to prevent those guys from really getting the ball and being a big factor in the game, and because of that, it left the middle of the field open a little bit.”
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter: @CBSRavens and @JasonButtCBS.