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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens received good news Wednesday with tight end Dennis Pitta’s return to the practice field, but Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata remained sidelined with a left knee injury.
After missing Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Ngata was absent as the Ravens cranked up preparations for the New York Jets. The defensive lineman missed all three practices last week and was ruled inactive last Sunday, missing his first game of the 2013 season.
Coach John Harbaugh declined comment on the decision to hold Ngata out following Sunday’s game and would not reveal whether the weather conditions at Soldier Field contributed to the eighth-year defensive tackle being held out.
“I’m not getting in to all that. There’s no reason for us to put that out there publicly,” Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. “What advantage would there be for us to comment on that? It wouldn’t help us. But, I appreciate you asking. I understand why you do. It’s fair, in all honesty. I just don’t want to put that out there right now.”
Linebacker Daryl Smith (thigh) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (abs) were both limited participants on Wednesday after both players missed practice time last week before playing against the Bears.
Rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown (knee) was a full participant after missing Sunday’s game as the poor field conditions were a factor in the decision to rule him inactive.
As announced earlier in the day, tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) took part in practice, playing catch and running routes at half-speed during the portion of practice open to reporters. The Ravens are not required to list Pitta on the injury report since he is not currently on the 53-man roster.
Pitta’s return to practice triggers the start of a 21-day window in which he can work with the team before a decision must be made on his roster standing. If the Ravens do not place Pitta on the active roster at the end of the three-week period — they may activate him sooner, of course — he must remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
“It’s impossible to say, really,” said Harbaugh when asked about a timetable for Pitta’s return to live-game action. “Withing getting ahead of ourselves here, as soon as possible. But safety is No. 1 and his ability to perform out there are the two factors in that.”
For the Jets, wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) and linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.
Here is Wednesday’s injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Haloti Ngata (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Daryl Smith (thigh), CB Lardarius Webb (Abs)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: OL Willie Colon (calf), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DL Kenrick Ellis (back), QB David Garrard (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), WR Greg Salas (finger)