From the moment Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs partially popped his Achilles tendon, his head assumed the consistency of stone.
Suggs knew he would play this year.
And it’s now clear that the 2011 defensive player of the year has been the driving force behind the unexpected speed of his return. As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network explained this morning from Houston, where the Ravens will face the Texans, Suggs now wants to fill the void created by the absence of linebacker Ray Lewis.
It’s also becoming clear that some within the organization don’t want Suggs to rush back, but that they aren’t willing or able or inclined to try to keep him from playing. How else can we explain the stream of reports, both local and national, contradicting the claims of Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN?
It was Mort who first flagged today as the day of Suggs’ potential return two weeks ago, pointing out the difference of opinion between team and player. Apparently, the team promptly started getting the word out that Suggs wouldn’t play so quickly.
This week, after Schefter reiterated there’s a chance that Suggs will face the Texans, others paused from the smoldering wreckage of their own misfires to gratuitously throw stones at Schefter’s story.
Now, the naysayers are looking foolish. Though they can take some solace in the apparent reality that they were pawns in the broader push-and-pull between Suggs and his employer, those insisting that Suggs wouldn’t play on October 21 were misinformed.
Of course, there’s still a chance Suggs won’t play. Rapaport says it could be only a couple of plays, pointing out that Suggs is overweight.
Still, if the Ravens couldn’t or wouldn’t or didn’t dare try to keep Suggs from getting in position to dress for today’s game, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to keep him on the sidelines.