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Ravens holding out hope Suggs can make late return this season

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Terrell Suggs has been insistent that he’ll be a productive member of the Ravens defense this season despite a partial tear of his Achilles tendon.

The Ravens don’t share Suggs’ confidence in his ability to defy medical science, but Don Banks of SI.com reports that they are holding out hope that he can contribute something to the team before the year is out. The Ravens hope that Suggs can return as a situational pass rusher in the final weeks of the regular season, something that would give them quite a boost in the playoff race they expect to be participating in this year.

Banks acknowledges that many people would find such a development “borderline miraculous” and the Ravens seem to be approaching things along similar lines. Hoping isn’t the same as planning, after all, and the Ravens are moving forward as if Suggs won’t be part of the mix for them this year. Their plan is contingent on steps forward from other players on the team.

“If you look at our record without a Ray Lewis over the last how many years, or an Ed Reed, we do pretty well,” said Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta. “This is going to be a major hurdle for us. But sometimes an injury like this is really good for your team at the beginning of a year, because it forces players to emerge. It forces it. And someone’s going to have to emerge for us to be a good defense.”

Paul Kruger and Courtney Upshaw will likely get the first chances to emerge for Baltimore this season with players like Pernell McPhee, Arthur Jones and Sergio Kindle also in position to earn time coming off the edge for the Ravens. None of them figure to be as significant a contributor as Suggs, but their combined impact could help the Ravens survive long enough to find out if they believe in miracles.

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46 Responses to “Ravens holding out hope Suggs can make late return this season”
  1. thingamajig says: May 31, 2012 11:27 AM

    By the time suggs is ready it’ll be too late.

  2. tyler200829 says: May 31, 2012 11:28 AM

    Keep doubting the ravens…..please do

  3. jagsfanugh says: May 31, 2012 11:34 AM

    Flacco is the qb. Hmm ………….

  4. sudz28 says: May 31, 2012 11:49 AM

    Once again I can only say that I hope he’s well enough to play against the Steelers late in the season. Those game simply won’t be the same with Suggs licking his chops and shooting the gap at Ben. I can already hear the Ratbird fans making excuses if he isn’t ready to suit up and play!

  5. zoidenflak says: May 31, 2012 11:59 AM

    I was already picking the ravens not to make the playoffs this year, even before the Suggs injury. It’s time for them to have one of those years where the ball doesn’t bounce the right way. It happens to every team…Pats… Steelers…Giants… And it’s not like they’re playing in a weak division…

  6. randomcommenter says: May 31, 2012 12:00 PM

    The ravens will not make the playoffs. Their secondary is nothing special and now without Suggs they will have no pass rush.

    They drafted Upshaw but don’t forget that they also lost Jarrett Johnson in free agency, so unless Upshaw is superman from day 1, the ravens pass rush will suffer and that will expose that secondary.

    The ravens offense is not good enough to win shoot outs. The offense could take a step back too because the OL may not be as good as last year.

    The ravens beat the steelers last years because the steeler OL was terrible. This year the steeler OL will be much better and the ravens pass rush will likely be worse

    ravens can’t cover both mike Wallace and Antonio brown. Then you add in heath miller and a speed back like Chris Rainey coming out of the backfield and the ravens are in big trouble if they can’t rush Ben.

    The ravens fell behind several other AFC contenders too.

  7. cbass59 says: May 31, 2012 12:07 PM

    tyler200829,

    Because fans/media doubting the Ravens will affecting anything?

    Stop this “us vs. the world” crap. It’s overdone and doesn’t amount to anything. Fact is, the Ravens are better with Suggs and Suggs will be out all/most of the season.

  8. tejguy says: May 31, 2012 12:18 PM

    Even if Suggs makes a late season return, would it even be effective? He will probably still not be 100%, regardless of what he says and even if he is, why not just come back next season in full force?

    Gotta love NFL players…Egos vs Health/Safety…sound familiar?

  9. southpaw2k says: May 31, 2012 12:21 PM

    zoidenflak says:
    May 31, 2012 11:59 AM
    I was already picking the ravens not to make the playoffs this year, even before the Suggs injury. It’s time for them to have one of those years where the ball doesn’t bounce the right way. It happens to every team…Pats… Steelers…Giants… And it’s not like they’re playing in a weak division…

    ———————————————–

    I agree with the second half of your statement. I think the Ravens will take a step backwards this year and probably finish with 10 wins, given their extremely tough schedule for 2012. However, I think 10 wins will still be enough for them to at least get a wild card spot and possibly the division, given the question marks surrounding the Steelers and Bengals this year.

  10. t8ertot says: May 31, 2012 12:30 PM

    “Keep doubting the ravens…..please do”

    We are. Your defense won’t be the same without him. 3rd place behind the Bengals and Steelers in that order.

    Who Dey

  11. bmorelikeme says: May 31, 2012 12:32 PM

    You need to move Pernell Mcphee from that second tier of players with a chance to contribute in Sizzle’s spot. He’s probably going to be first team at the inside end spot and believe me the rest of the NFL will know his name by the end of this year.

  12. t8ertot says: May 31, 2012 12:32 PM

    “question marks surrounding the Steelers and Bengals this year”

    And what questions are those regarding the Bengals? Steelers I understand with having a new o coordinator. The only question with the Bengals would be their consistency.

  13. alvint69 says: May 31, 2012 1:12 PM

    @sudz28:
    “I can already hear the Ratbird fans making excuses if he isn’t ready to suit up and play!”

    Yeah, and Steelers fans *never* make up excuses about how injured they were when they lose.

  14. baltimoresohard says: May 31, 2012 1:12 PM

    Did I just see a Jags fan comment about Joe Flacco being a weak spot at the QB position??? The best QB in the history of your franchise would give Satan a “handy” for Joe’s skill set.

  15. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 1:15 PM

    In my opinion I beleive the Ravens superbowl chances with this defense went out the door with that missed field goal in the AFC championship game.

    Im certainly excited to get play you clowns again this year. I believe Tomlin will have something for you when you travel to see us this year. And it wont be rolling over and giving, “the best QB in the league” a late game drive down the field.

    Honest question… If the Ravens offense was given ten chances to drive down the field for a game winning score like they did last year. just how many times out of ten do you think it happens?

    my guess is 2 MAYBE 3

  16. Deb says: May 31, 2012 1:18 PM

    As a Bama fan, I’m looking for great things from Courtney Upshaw (except when they play my Steelers ;) ) But I’d still love to see Suggs back for our matchup. The Pittsburgh/Baltimore rivalry is the best in football, and it’s more fun when everyone is healthy. We don’t play until November, so I wish Suggs luck as he rehabs. Hope to see him on the field for our game!

  17. ravenator says: May 31, 2012 1:24 PM

    love the steeler fans who doubt the Ravens yet can’t realize their team was ousted by Sanchez’ backup QB, ouch!!! I wonder what their excuse will be when the Ravens sweep those clowns without Suggs! Keep on hating haters. Let me know how that probowl Oline turns out their fans keep clamoring about yet forget these rooks have yet to play a snap.

  18. bullybirds says: May 31, 2012 1:27 PM

    Ravens fan,

    The loss of Suggs will truely be felt, but our history on defense is as such, if we lose one player, no matter who that is, the defense does not suffer. There is even an argument that our team was more reliant on Jarret Johnson than anyone else (he made the defensive front seven calls)

    But unlike most teams, since the Ravens are so defensive based financially and minded, our backups usually are starter quality players on most other team’s defense. This is because of a never ending system that has been here ever since Marvin Lewis era. This system has been tweaked with the successive D coordinators, but rarely moves far from that.

    That being said, to be on a Bmore and even a Steeler type defense, there is a expectation of greatness that no player wants to be “that guy”on film after the game.

    In other words, we’ll be fine until whenever Suggs returns.

  19. cmich2006 says: May 31, 2012 1:54 PM

    @baltimoresohard

    Brunnel in his prime, during a time when the passing game wasn’t given every advantage, was twice the QB Flacco is

    @bullybirds

    the backups are not ‘starter quality’…only ‘starter quality’ backup is Jimmy Smith.

    The Ravens have little depth and are a couple injuries away from a .500 season

  20. mostlombardisintheleague says: May 31, 2012 1:54 PM

    Ray Lewis will be 37 1/2 when BAL plays PIT this season without Suggs on the field. Even if Suggs returns late in the season, how many plays does he last before he reinjures that Achilles the same or worse than the first time ? When Max Starks came back for PIT he neutralized T. Sizzles’ pass rush, stonewalled him. PIT O-line last season had 25 different starting configurations, most in the league, highly unlikely that will happen this season. So with Ray Lewis on the heels of 38 and no T Sizzle, a stabilized and younger, higher quality PIT O-line, permanent full time full-back David Johnson blocking for Redman and Ben, Chris Rainey scorching from the backfield and the receiver set and Haley’s heavy play-action calling…….Here we Go Steelers !!!!!!

  21. randomcommenter says: May 31, 2012 1:55 PM

    @ravenator. It’s funny that you point out the steeler Fans are assuming their OL draft picks will be good when the whole ravens season depends on their draft pick Upshaw not just being good, but to play at a pro bowl level.

    The steelers won 12 games last year with the worst OL in the game. These rookies just have to step on the field and it is an automatic upgrade.

    As for the coaching changes, why does nobody point out that the ravens have a new defensive coordinator?

    Steelers have a new OC and it’s a huge deal, the ravens have a new DC and lost their only proven pass rusher and it’s no big deal.

  22. southpaw2k says: May 31, 2012 2:16 PM

    randomcommenter says:
    May 31, 2012 1:55 PM
    @ravenator. It’s funny that you point out the steeler Fans are assuming their OL draft picks will be good when the whole ravens season depends on their draft pick Upshaw not just being good, but to play at a pro bowl level.

    The steelers won 12 games last year with the worst OL in the game. These rookies just have to step on the field and it is an automatic upgrade.

    As for the coaching changes, why does nobody point out that the ravens have a new defensive coordinator?

    Steelers have a new OC and it’s a huge deal, the ravens have a new DC and lost their only proven pass rusher and it’s no big deal.

    ————————————————–

    Nobody’s claiming it’s “no big deal” that Suggs will likely miss at least the first half of the season. It’s a pretty big deal, in fact. As for the new DC, Pees was promoted from within the Ravens organization, so he’s already familiar with Harbaugh, the rest of the coaches, and the players. Todd Haley was hired from outside the Steelers, under a bit of controversy given how they dismissed Bruce Arians. Now I’ll say for the record Haley’s hire was made out to be a much bigger deal than it actually was, but considering how long Arians had been in Pittsburgh, it caused some headlines.

  23. bullybirds says: May 31, 2012 2:33 PM

    @cmich2006

    “the backups are not ‘starter quality’…only ‘starter quality’ backup is Jimmy Smith.

    The Ravens have little depth and are a couple injuries away from a .500 season

    Final say on that, Ray Lewis missed a couple games in which our defense should have suffered. We still finished #3. Who took his place? A bunch of names that only fans in Bmore know.

    When Ed Reed misses time every now and again, who takes his place? Again outside of Bmore you wouldn’t know, but the pass defense at times was more stingy because Ed gambles causing bigger plays.

    We morph to who is out there and make it work.

    Ask the Steelers about schemes and it’s reliance on one player or having bad depth. Remember that year when Troy Polamalu got hurt, when they missed the playoffs?

    Yeah, our team isn’t built like that.

  24. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 2:39 PM

    @ravenator

    You mean to say we lost to a team who played better than us that day? With a QB who had (most likely) the best season of his career? Wait are you over compensating for a missed field goal that couldve put your team in position to win the AFC? I feel like you might be.

    Dont sweat it pal you guys still have the best qb in the league. Hell Ray Rice is gonna be well rested after a long summer vacation. Its not like we have an organization that could even compete with the likes of your squad… you guys have nothing to worry about. ohhhhhh wait unless you find yourself in a bathroom with Big and Little Ben. Then you may want to be concerned. But you already knew this didnt you Ravenator?

  25. pleazenufalready says: May 31, 2012 2:42 PM

    OK, maybe they changed the IR rules and I didn’t catch it, but otherwise, won’t the Ravens have to keep him on the roster all season in order for him to have a chance to play at the end of the year? Can they really afford to be down one body for the first 12-13 games (assuming that the rules are the same as last year)?

  26. forevermore5220 says: May 31, 2012 2:45 PM

    ottograham says:
    May 31, 2012 1:15 PM
    Honest question… If the Ravens offense was given ten chances to drive down the field for a game winning score like they did last year. just how many times out of ten do you think it happens?

    Clearly you don’t watch the ravens. they actually do that often enough.. must you be reminded of the steelers? the cards? the texans? If Lee Evans wasn’t born, they would’ve been in the SB. Flacco actually plays well in crunch time situations and against better competition. do ur homework

  27. forevermore5220 says: May 31, 2012 2:47 PM

    randomcommenter says:
    May 31, 2012 1:55 PM
    @ravenator. It’s funny that you point out the steeler Fans are assuming their OL draft picks will be good when the whole ravens season depends on their draft pick Upshaw not just being good, but to play at a pro bowl level.

    Pernell McPhee and Paul Kruger. Go check McPhee’s stats before u go putting our whole season in the hands of upshaw. 11 people on the field at one time. Our defense plays as a unit, not a one man show. ur comments hold now weight.

  28. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 2:54 PM

    forevermore5220…

    Im keeping the stipulation strictly Steelers D v. Ravens O. Im sure youre offense is productive against many other squads. However most of my concerns focus simply on the AFC North every season. Particularly the Ravens based on the level of competition.

  29. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 3:00 PM

    Im truly saying that I dont buy Flacco being able to win tight games against the Steelers year in and year out. Specifically during “crunchtime.” Now my homework says in Flaccos career (prior to the GW drive win @ Heinz Field) he is 2-6 against us with a 53 completion percentage. That being with 7 TDs and 8 Int.

  30. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 3:01 PM

    apologize those numbers were before the season opener.

  31. randomcommenter says: May 31, 2012 3:12 PM

    Mcphee got 6 sacks with Suggs on the field. There’s a big difference between getting sacks as the second fiddle and being the top guy and getting double teams.

    The steelers have 2 premiere pass rushers in Harrison and Woodley so if one of them gets injured, it’s easier for a backup to succeed. If BOTH of them were injured, it would be tough for the backups to come close to the same production. Nevermind how much worse they’d be against the run.

    The ravens only had 1 premiere pass rusher. He’s gone. They are trying to replace Jarrett Johnson as well. Unless one of these backups or rookies steps up to pro bowl level then the ravens are in trouble.

    The other part of this is the steeler offense with Ben, Wallace and Antonio brown is able to win a shootout if the defense falters a bit.

    The ravens offense is not built for that. If the defense declines, The offense won’t pick up the slack.

  32. alvint69 says: May 31, 2012 3:15 PM

    @ottograham:
    “Its not like we have an organization that could even compete with the likes of your squad…”

    The Steelers proved that last year.

  33. Deb says: May 31, 2012 3:39 PM

    pleazenufalready says:

    OK, maybe they changed the IR rules and I didn’t catch it, but otherwise, won’t the Ravens have to keep him on the roster all season in order for him to have a chance to play at the end of the year? Can they really afford to be down one body for the first 12-13 games (assuming that the rules are the same as last year)?
    ————————————————–
    From these comments and things Ozzie has said previously about Suggs possibly returning late in the season, it seems clear they’re not planning to put him on IR. That may change later if his rehab doesn’t progress as well as hoped. But this is the reigning DPOY. I’m not surprised they’d at least give him until the season starts to see how well his recovery is going.

  34. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 3:42 PM

    alvint69

    way to not consider the 2-6 record Flacco had against us prior to last season. But Im sure you will hold onto last seasons victories close to your heart. Shame they dont give out trophies for sweeping your rivals or we would have more than 6 sitting in the southside vaults a few blocks away from my house.

  35. bmorelikeme says: May 31, 2012 4:07 PM

    @ottograham

    You can’t just remove the games and stats you want to make your point.

    For example, if I were to remove Flacco’s rookie year, which is probably a more realistic analysis anyway, his career numbers versus Pitt become:

    7 Games, 4 Wins, 59% completion rate, 232 yds/game, 10 TD/3INT

    Not too shabby considering the Steelers have had a pretty good defense during that timeframe.

  36. tyler200829 says: May 31, 2012 4:34 PM

    All you steeled fans are quick to jump on the bandwagon…..but Suggs is not as important to that defense as Lewis or reed. Just tell Ben to at least win one….AT LEAST one game….. against us this year to keep this “rivalry” as such. Well, according to Ryan Clark it’s no longer one…..

  37. randomcommenter says: May 31, 2012 4:48 PM

    bmorelikeme says:
    May 31, 2012 4:07 PM
    @ottograham

    You can’t just remove the games and stats you want to make your point.

    For example, if I were to remove Flacco’s rookie year, which is probably a more realistic analysis anyway, his career numbers versus Pitt become:

    7 Games, 4 Wins, 59% completion rate, 232 yds/game, 10 TD/3INT

    Not too shabby considering the Steelers have had a pretty good defense during that timeframe.
    ———————————————————————-

    And how many of those games did roethlisberger play? Last year was the first time flacco won against roethlisberger.

    Flacco’s average 232 yards and 1.4 TD per game vs the steelers won’t get it done if the ravens defense can’t rush the passer.

    If the ravens can’t rush the passer and the steeler OL is improved, then the steelers will put up close to 30 on them.

    Can flacco score 30 per game? Because that’s what he will have to do against good teams if the ravens defense isn’t as good as past years.

  38. forevermore5220 says: May 31, 2012 5:21 PM

    @ottograham

    And you would eliminate the opener when he torched yall lol.. dude go to sleep. ur team is old. and its in a rebuilding stage… have fun when ur OC decides he can’t keep his cool and ur whole offense falls apart.

  39. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 7:47 PM

    Idk pal if you look at the roster the defensive unit has we moved on from alot of old heads. Now that’s only half of the problem. Rebuilding, as you mentioned, will be the other. I don’t believe the defense is in a rebuilding stage. You know the names from Timmons to Taylor. The vets will hold down as players such as, Hood, Heyward, Lewis, and Butler step right in as they have the experience to succeed. My money says Pittsburgh will be the more dominant defense in the 2012 season.

    Todd Haley will not be an issue as Mike Tomlin is the ultimate authority on that field. If you watch Steeler ball he is the honcho as Harbaugh is for Baltimore. Pees will not be an Issue for you guys as maybe the offensive scheme for us may be an issue. I think the offense gets straightened out by week 3 preseason. Bens a vet with a Promising offensive line(barring injuries). Know that Pittsburghs squad is coming to put the birds in the dust bin.

  40. ottograham says: May 31, 2012 7:59 PM

    @bmorelikeme:

    would you also like to disregard playoff games? I left out last seasons stats based off the topic I spoke about in that post. We could go all day with stats. My money says if either team is going to sweep it will be the ‘Lers. Remember when we Santonio caught that 6 yard touchdown pass at the goaline? Just wanted to throw little imagery at ya.

  41. stuartscottslefteye says: May 31, 2012 8:32 PM

    Whether or not your a fan of either team you have to agree with Deb. Steelers vs Ravens is one the best rivalries in football. Whether it’s a suspended Big Ben (no insult intended – I just remember the empty feeling seeing the Ravens defeat Dennis Dixon) or an injured Suggs it’s just not the same if both teams don’t have all their guns a blazing.

  42. vincentbojackson says: May 31, 2012 10:07 PM

    tyler200829 says:

    Just tell Ben to at least win one….AT LEAST one game….. against us this year to keep this “rivalry” as such.

    ———————

    Apparently you just started following the Ravens this year. Steelers lead series 21-14 including 3-0 vs Ravens in the playoffs and a devastating three game sweep in 2008. Sweep the next 7 and your boys can even up the series and get a seat at the grown ups table.

  43. joldewurtel says: May 31, 2012 11:44 PM

    “Paul Kruger and Courtney Upshaw will likely get the first chances to emerge for Baltimore this season with players like Pernell McPhee, Arthur Jones and Sergio Kindle also in position to earn time coming off the edge for the Ravens.”

    Arthur Jones is a 6’3″ 313 lb who is best in a 3-4 scheme as a 5 technique DE. He’s not ever ‘coming off the edge.’

    Courtney Upshaw replaces Jarret Johnson at strong side OLB where he has one job… to set the edge. And he has been one of the best in all of football at doing so the last few years. Any sort of pass rush from him is just an added bonus.

    Pernell McPhee will probably start at the other DE, where he too will mostly be a 5 technique DE who shouldn’t be relied on consistently.

    It really comes down to Kruger and Kindle, and possibly McAdoo (on IR all last year) to take Suggs’ spot.

    In a 3-4, you’re looking at a DL of Ngata-Cody-McPhee with a LB corpse of Upshaw-Lewis-McClain-Kruger/Kindle/McAdoo. That’s still a very solid front 7. I think if I am the Ravens, I am trying to figure out a deal for Osi Umenyiora, who could be real interesting as a rush LB…

    Suggs being hurt doesn’t make them a sub-.500 team. This team is obviously better with Suggs in the lineup… but it really isn’t a lost season without him there.

    With that said though, I still think a trade for Osi makes entirely too much sense for both the Ravens and the Giants. Osi and a 6th for a 4th and a 5th??? Make it happen.

  44. joldewurtel says: May 31, 2012 11:47 PM

    to clarify my previous post, Upshaw is replacing Johnson, who was one of the best in the league at setting the edge. And with him now gone, Upshaw now takes over… where his main job will be doing what Johnson was so great at, setting the edge.

  45. lovefootball4life says: Jun 1, 2012 12:31 PM

    To all Steeler fans:

    Go lurch somewhere else. The drivel is getting old.

  46. muzzy27 says: Jun 1, 2012 1:19 PM

    lovefootball4life says:Jun 1, 2012 12:31 PM

    To all Steeler fans:

    Go lurch somewhere else. The drivel is getting old.

    ———————————

    To all Ravens fans:

    The nest is burning.

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