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.