Suggs back at prac­tice, aims to play in next game

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS & NFL - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­ twit­­wardLeeSun Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Jeff Zre­biec con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

Ter­rell Suggs an­nounced his re­turn to Ravens prac­tice Tues­day be­fore even tak­ing the field.

The col­or­ful out­side line­backer broke into song as he emerged from the team’s train­ing fa­cil­ity in Owings Mills be­fore driv­ing a golf cart to join his de­fen­sive team­mates on the field. It was the first sign that the fran­chise’s longest­tenured player was not go­ing to end his year af­ter tear­ing his left bi­ceps in the fourth quar­ter of a 27-23 loss to the New York Gi­ants on Oct. 16.

Af­ter prac­tice, Suggs, 34, was his usual out­spo­ken self when asked why he in­sisted on re­turn­ing.

“Man, who am I? What team do I play for? I come from an area where this is just a bump in the road,” he said. “It may be sea­so­nend­ing for some­body else. It’s not sea­son-end­ing for Ravens. I’ve played through it be­fore. I told you all that. That was al­ways the plan. Last time I tore it [in 2012] I missed the first game. I came back and strug­gled through the sec­ond game. I slowly but surely got it back, and it came at a good time. We’ve got nine left. We’re still in sec­ond place in the di­vi­sion, and we can still do some things. I want to be here when we do that.”

Asked later why he did not go to in­jured re­serve, Suggs replied: “Have we met? I don’t go on IR un­less I ab­so­lutely have to, if I tear an­other Achilles or some [stuff ].”

Suggs’ pres­ence could be an en­cour­ag­ing sign for a team mired in a four-game los­ing streak. Although the Ravens sacked New York Jets quar­ter­backs Geno Smith and Ryan Fitz­patrick five times in Sun­day’s 24-16 loss, de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dean Pees said he wel­comes Suggs’ veteran ex­pe­ri­ence in the de­fen­sive hud­dle.

“The thing about Sizz is, not only just his phys­i­cal abil­ity, he’s our leader,” Pees said, us­ing Suggs’ nick­name. “He’s our leader, and it’s al­ways great to have your The Ravens’ Ter­rell Suggs sacks Red­skins quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins. Suggs re­turned to prac­tice Tues­day af­ter tear­ing his left bi­ceps Oct. 16. leader back.”

Suggs, who wore a har­ness dur­ing prac­tice and said he will wear one dur­ing games, could re­turn Nov. 6 when the AFCNorth ri­val Pitts­burgh Steel­ers visit M&T Bank Sta­dium.

For Suggs, who has 141⁄ of his 1111⁄ ca­reer sacks against the Steel­ers, the tim­ing seems per­fect.

“Your great­est op­po­nent al­ways brings the best out of you,” he said. “It’s a good op­por­tu­nity to come back and play against those guys. Ev­ery­body knows what’s rid­ing on it. It’s go­ing to be a big game. I want to be a part of it.” Yanda also back: Be­sides Suggs, the Ravens wel­comed back an­other starter, right guard Mar­shal Yanda. Yanda has missed the past two games be­cause of a shoul­der ail­ment.

Rookie cor­ner­back Tavon Young worked out af­ter suf­fer­ing a con­cus­sion Sun­day. The fourthround pick in the 2016 NFL draft wore a red, non­con­tact mesh jersey over his uni­form.

And strong safety Matt Elam prac­ticed for the first time since be­ing placed on in­jured re­serve af­ter un­der­go­ing arthro­scopic knee surgery in late Au­gust. He will be el­i­gi­ble to play against the Cleve­land Browns on Nov. 10.

Ten play­ers sat out prac­tice: wide re­ceivers Steve Smith Sr. (right an­kle) and Ka­mar Aiken, in­side lineback­ers C.J. Mosley (ham­string) and Al­bert McClel­lan, out­side line­backer Elvis Dumervil (foot), re­turn spe­cial­ist Devin Hester Sr. (thigh), tight end Den­nis Pitta, free safety Lar­dar­ius Webb (ham­string), run­ning back Ter­rance West (left an­kle) and cor­ner­back Sha­reece Wright (ham­string).

Rookie out­side line­backer Ka­malei Cor­rea walked off the field slowly af­ter ap­par­ently in­jur­ing him­self dur­ing spe­cial teams prac­tice. The sec­ond-round pick was ac­com­pa­nied by a trainer into the team’s prac­tice fa­cil­ity. Elam ap­pre­cia­tive of health: A torn bi­ceps in­jury wiped out Elam’s 2015 sea­son be­fore it be­gan. And a knee in­jury in Au­gust threat­ened to do the same thing for the strong safety’s cur­rent sea­son. But af­ter un­der­go­ing arthro­scopic knee surgery, Elam prac­ticed Tues­day.

It is not clear how much work the 2013 first-round pick un­der­took be­cause the team is not re­quired to pro­duce an in­jury re­port, but just be­ing back on the field was an achieve­ment for Elam.

“I just feel good to be back out there with my team­mates again and to be able to just run again,” he said. “It’s been a whole two months not do­ing any­thing. It felt very good just to be there. Af­ter miss­ing a year, I mean, I’m just happy that I have the op­por­tu­nity to do it again.”

The Ravens will have 21 days to de­cide whether to ac­ti­vate Elam — who has just one in­ter­cep­tion, one-half sack and 123 tack­les in two sea­sons — to the 53-man ros­ter or keep him on in­jured re­serve for the re­main­der of the year.

Pees said the coaches liked what they had seen ear­lier in Elam, who is in the fi­nal year of his rookie con­tract.

“Re­ally, we thought this spring that he was play­ing re­ally, re­ally well and mov­ing very well,” Pees said.

“So re­ally, the only thing that we need to see — and he knows it — is now take it to the field in live ac­tion. But based on ev­ery­thing that he did on the field and get­ting him­self ready both phys­i­cally and men­tally, he did what he was sup­posed to do.” End zone: Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Marty Morn­hin­weg ac­cepted the blame for the of­fense’s sec­ond-half show­ing of zero points, three first downs, 42 to­tal yards, and neg­a­tive rush­ing yards against the Jets. “Geez, I was juiced at half­time!” he ex­claimed. “Re­ally, I’m just be­ing hon­est. One thing I wanted to do — and I didn’t get it done — was I wanted to come out and run the ball, and our first cou­ple of runs just were not very good. Then all of a sud­den, some bad things hap­pened. It is my re­spon­si­bil­ity.” … While Jimmy Smith has an­chored one start­ing cor­ner­back spot, the sec­ond starter role has ro­tated among Wright, Jer­raud Pow­ers, Will Davis and Young. It sounds like sec­ondary coach Les­lie Fra­zier is lean­ing to­ward Young, as­sum­ing he can re­main healthy. “We’d like for them, when they have an op­por­tu­nity to make plays, to make plays, and that’s the one thing that Tavon has done for us,” Fra­zier said of the rookie, who ranks sec­ond on the team in in­ter­cep­tions (two) and sev­enth in tack­les (20). “He’s had some op­por­tu­ni­ties, and he’s made some plays.” … Wide re­ceiver Dob­son Collins, who was with the team in train­ing camp, was signed to the prac­tice squad. He fills the spot va­cated by cor­ner­back Robert­son Daniel when he was pro­moted to the ac­tive ros­ter Satur­day.


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