Suggs back at practice, aims to play in next game
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.