Ravens’ Suggs aims to be back be­fore end of camp

For­mer DPOY re­cov­er­ing from torn Achilles

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— Terrell Suggs had no in­ten­tions of re­tir­ing.

Speak­ing with the me­dia for the first time since he suf­fered a torn Achilles dur­ing the Bal­ti­more Ravens’ sea­son opener last Septem­ber—the sec­ond such in­jury of his ca­reer—the 33-year-old for­mer NFL De­fen­sive Player of the Year re­vealed that he never con­sid­ered hang­ing up the cleats.

“From the mo­ment the in­jury hap­pened, I was in de­nial like, ‘No. I didn’t do it again. I can move my foot. Maybe it’s just a se­verely bad sprain.’ But then you get the MRI, and they’re like, ‘No, you did it again.’ You kind of just have to go back to square one,” said Suggs, who suf­fered the in­jury while chas­ing down quar­ter­back Pey­ton Man­ning dur­ing the fourth

OWINGS MILLS

quar­ter of his team’s loss to the Den­ver Bron­cos on Sept. 13. “You have to lie down. You can’t move or do any­thing for three months, and then you start the lit­tle things. You take baby steps, and then you start to feel a lit­tle bet­ter. Then you’re jog­ging and you’re mov­ing a lit­tle faster.

“It’s a process, but never did it cross my mind that I wasn’t go­ing to come back and be talk­ing to you and have to an­swer that ques­tion.”

Bal­ti­more’s all-time leader in sacks will have to wait a lit­tle longer be­fore fi­nally re­turn­ing to the grid­iron. Train­ing camp be­gan Thurs­day and Suggs, af­fec­tion­ally nick­named T-Siz­zle, was nowhere to be seen as he opens the pre­sea­son on the phys­i­cally- un­able- to- per form list.

“I’m not go­ing to give it a timetable, but it’s not go­ing to be long. We’re close to where we want to be,” Suggs said. “I’m go­ing to be hon­est with you: The Raven side of me is like, “[Ex­ple­tive] it, Sizz. Let’s go play some foot­ball.’ But I have to be smart with it. I can’t be timid, but I have to be smart. It won’t be long be­fore I’ll be off of it and out there prac­tic­ing with the guys.”

The next ques­tion is whether the six-time Pro Bowler can re­turn to play­ing at a high level.

Suggs, who cap­tured the 2011 De­fen­sive Player of the Year award, recorded dou­ble-digit sacks in four of the pre­vi­ous five sea­sons be­fore his lost 2015 cam­paign. In 2014, he teamed with fel­low line­backer Elvis Dumervil to post the most sacks in the NFL by a de­fen­sive duo (29).

“It’s a fair ques­tion,” Suggs said. “This is 14 years for me. I came in here a young 20-yearold and didn’t know any­thing. I had some of the great­est Jedi Masters teach­ing me. It’s a fair ques­tion. We’ve seen a lot of Ravens come and go, and I’m one of the last few here. The ques­tion is a fair ques­tion, but in my eyes? It’s pre­ma­ture. It’s not yet. I’m a lot younger in spirit than I am in my num­ber in the league.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

Bal­ti­more Ravens out­side line­backer Terrell Suggs be­gan train­ing camp on the phys­i­cal­lyun­able-to-per­form list as he re­cov­ers from a se­ri­ous in­jury suf­fered last sea­son.

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