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Haloti Ngata, Jimmy Smith miss practice for Ravens

Dallas Cowboys v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 14: Wide receiver Kevin Ogletree #85 of the Dallas Cowboys misses a catch while being defended by defensive back Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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As the Ravens try to retain their grip on the No. 2 spot in the league without No. 52 or No. 21, they had to practice on Wednesday without two of their other key defensive players.

Defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, who stayed in Sunday’s game despite an MCL sprain (take that, Cutler) missed practice on Wednesday. Though Ngata’s not expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Texans, the situation should be monitored closely.

Even more troubling is the fact that cornerback Jimmy Smith missed practice with an abdominal injury. He’ll the replacement for cornerback Lardarius Webb, who’s out for the year with a torn ACL.

Also missing practice was defensive lineman Ma’ake Kemoeatu, who also has a knee injury. Tackle Bryant McKinnie was limited with a thigh injury.

The Ravens face the Texans on Sunday in a battle of the only two AFC teams who have won more games than they have lost.