Suggs eager to get back on field and return to form
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Terrell Suggs is convinced he still has a few more sacks left in him, even though he’s 33 years old and coming off a torn left Achilles tendon.
Suggs was carted off the field in the 2015 season opener and still hasn’t quite fully recovered. He has been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list and won’t be in uniform Thursday when the Baltimore Ravens hold their first full-team training camp practice.
He can’t wait to get back, but the man known as “T-Sizzle” knows it would be foolish to take any chances in July.
“I’m not going to give no timetable, but it’s not going to be long. We’re close to where we want to be,” Suggs said Wednesday. “I’ll be honest with you: The Ravens side of me is like, ‘Sizz, let’s go. Let’s play some football.’ But I’ve got to smart with it.”
Once he’s ready to roll, the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker is optimistic of being a key contributor to a perennial playoff contender that stumbled to a 5-11 finish last season.
“We’re going to find out,” Suggs said. “I love football. I love the locker room. I love my teammates. I love out here being confrontational. I love talking (stuff). That’s just part of being Sizzle. I think once I kind of get back to being him, I think y’all questions will be answered.”
Before his injury, Suggs was one of the most vocal and playful members of the team. He rarely shied from any microphone, and almost always spiced up interviews with jokes or tongue-in-cheek barbs directed toward the upcoming opponent.
But he hadn’t talked to the media since his injury — not even once. So his appearance at the team’s training complex served as an update over the past 11 months.
“When that injury happens, it’s like three months laying on your back,” Suggs said. “We didn’t start too good. It was just a really bad time. I didn’t want it to be about me that I was gone. It was kind of like, ‘Just let the smoke clear and let everything happen.’”
His teammates can’t wait to see him — and hear him — on the practice field.
“It’s always good to have his personality around the building and what he brings to this whole place,” quarterback Joe Flacco said.
“I think he gives the young guys a lot of direction and they look up to him. They’ve been watching him play for a long time now. It’s been fun having him in the training room for the last five weeks and having him around and hearing his voice all throughout the facility.”
Suggs was the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after getting a career-high 14 sacks, two interceptions and seven forced fumbles. The following year, he tore his right Achilles tendon during the offseason, but played the final eight games of the regular season and helped Baltimore win the Super Bowl.
With the exception of last season, Suggs has been a key contributor to a team that’s built a reputation for playing tough, physical defense. The 13-year veteran is the Ravens’ career sack leader with 106½, and his 823 tackles rank second behind Ray Lewis in franchise history.
He’s not done yet. Retirement might be the furthest thing on Suggs’ mind.
“It’s not something I want to visit end of this year, end of next year,” he said. “Maybe the year after that, we can talk about it. What, will I be 36 then? But I’m not worried about that right now.”
Suggs intends to savor this season and, in the process, prove he’s still one of the best in the NFL at chasing down opposing quarterbacks.
“You’ve got to always appreciate this. You never know when it’s really going to be gone,” he said. “The simple fact that I had the opportunity to rehab, come back and listen to my naysayers, that’s a privilege. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, so I guess that’s kind of mine. People say he can’t do it again. I guess we’re going to find out.”
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