Terrell Suggs’ left heel injury sidelined him at practice Monday as the Baltimore Ravens’ Pro Bowl outside linebacker was limping around in a protective boot.
However, Suggs emphasized that the heel problem should keep him out for only a short period of time.
“I have a little strain in the heel, it will be all right, though, nothing but a couple of days,” said Suggs, who suffered the injury Sunday during a pass-rushing drill. “It’s nothing to get all worried about. I knew it wasn’t a big issue because I hobbled off on it. Anytime you can walk on it or hobble on it, it’s not that bad.”
Suggs has never missed a game in six years since being drafted in the first round in 2003.
And the Ravens don’t appear to be concerned about Suggs’ status after signing him to a blockbuster six-year, $62.5 million contract last month.
“Suggs should be fine,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He put in three really good, hard days. He is off to a good start.”
With Suggs out, rookie second-round pick Paul Kruger lined up with the starters as he played defensive end in a 4-3 alignment.
Suggs’ durability isn’t in question considering how he toughed it out to sack Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger twice in the AFC championship game despite a painful shoulder injury.
“All I remember is the pain I felt when we lost,” Suggs said. “It was like that overpowered the pain that was in my shoulder. I wanted it so bad. I could taste it.”
“Yeah, I’m proud,” Suggs said. “It shows that I’m dependable. You can always depend on me to line up and play for my team and my city.”
INJURY UPDATES: Several players were held out of practice, including wide receiver Mark Clayton, who is dealing with a left hamstring injury.
Others not practicing: tight ends L.J. Smith (hamstring) and Davon Drew (right ankle), wide receivers Yamon Figurs (foot surgery) and Thomas White (unknown), defensive tackles Lamar Divens (hip flexor) and Justin Bannan (granted a day off), tackle Adam Terry (arthroscopic knee surgery) and cornerback Samari Rolle (neck and groin).
Guard Ben Grubbs, who had ankle surgery during the offseason, was limping around toward the end of the morning practice and was held out of the later drills.
Receiver Demetrius Williams had a large ice pack applied to his tweaked right hamstring at the end of the first practice. Williams felt good enough to dive for a touchdown pass on a crisp Joe Flacco rollout.
“We’re just being careful,” Williams said.
Rookie linebacker Jason Phillips (lateral meniscus surgery) was activated from the physically unable to perform list and practiced without incident.
The Ravens are upbeat about guard Marshal Yanda’s speedy progress after tearing three knee ligaments last season.
“Very encouraging, but not surprising, especially if you know Marshal,” Harbaugh said. “The guy kills himself. It looks like he’s going to be ready to go.”
PROTECT AND SERVE: Harbaugh has been wearing a camouflage baseball cap with the word, “SURGE” on the front. Harbaugh distributed the hats to the entire team to honor the U.S. troops serving overseas.
“NFL players respect military personnel more than anybody,” said Harbaugh, who visited soldiers in the Persian Gulf on an NFL-USO NFL coaches tour this summer. “I think it’s because of the sacrifice that they make and the courage that they display every single day in what they do. The Ravens sure appreciate what’s going on over there.”
QUICK HITS: The Ravens gave kicker Steve Hauschka the morning off, which is an occurrence every four days. Rookie Graham Gano handled all of the field goals. … There was some good-natured jawing between cornerback Frank Walker and receiver Kelley Washington after Walker broke up a pass. … Williams celebrated one touchdown catch by jumping onto the padding around the goalpost. … Linebacker Jarret Johnson picked off quarterback John Beck near the hash marks. … The Ravens targeted rookie cornerback Lardarius Webb on a regular basis, and he held up under fire. Although he allowed one touchdown pass to rangy wideout Justin Harper on a Troy Smith throw, Webb also nearly intercepted a short-armed Flacco throw intended for Williams, but it ricocheted off his hands. … The offense got the best of the defense during a goal-line drill as Willis McGahee scored two touchdowns and Ray Rice scored once. … Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Willie Vandesteeg has caught the coaches’ eye with his intensity and athleticism. “I think our scouts, starting with [director of player personnel] Eric DeCosta and right on through, did a really, really good job seeking out and signing college free agents,” Harbaugh said. “You can start with Vandesteeg and you can go right on through. The more good players you have, the tougher those cuts are."