The Lions announced that they have placed Haloti Ngata on injured reserve. Ngata suffered a bicep injury last week against Carolina that will keep him off the field for the rest of the season.
Players can return from IR after eight weeks and bicep injuries aren’t always season enders, but this tear is significant enough to rule the defensive tackle out for the rest of the year. Ngata has never played in less than 12 games in any given season, so this is largely new territory for the veteran.
Ngata’s 2017 campaign ends after five games with seven tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble. It’s possible that this will mark the end of his career as well.
Ngata will turn 34 in January and his contract will expire at the end of the season. Earlier this year, he was giving real thought to retirement and coaches weren’t sure whether he’d actually suit up until March.
Ngata has earned many millions throughout the years and has a career resume that few can match. He’s been a starter since entering the league as a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2006 and has been playing at a high level for all 12 years. He was – and still is – among the league’s most talented interior linemen and earned five straight Pro Bowl nods from 2009 through 2013. He also picked up a pair of First-Team All-Pro selections (2010, 2011) during that stretch. With a Super Bowl ring on his finger, Ngata can walk away from the game knowing that he met all of his goals and then some.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.