WESTMINSTER – Terrell Suggs lived up to his word.
Fulfilling the promise he made during minicamp that he would report to training camp in top shape, the Baltimore Ravens’ three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker has lost roughly 20 pounds.
One year ago, Suggs was a beefy 283 pounds and wound up injuring his heel and later his knee while slumping to a career-low four sacks.
Now, he’s determined to get down to the range of 260 pounds from when he was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year seven years ago.
“I’m trying to get back to my first two years in the league,” Suggs said. “It’s not my fighting weight, but I think I could go into a match and win.”
Suggs was noticeably slimmer and it looks like he has upgraded his mobility from a year ago.
He aced his conditioning test, a series of time trials.
“I passed with flying colors,” Suggs said.
Suggs said that coach John Harbaugh was paying a lot of attention to him during the running test.
“He’s got all his enthusiasm,” Harbaugh said. “He’s excited to be here, and he is in very good shape. He really dominated the conditioning test. He should have a good camp.”
A year ago after signing a six-year, $62.5 million contract that included $38 million in guaranteed money, Suggs promptly injured his heel during the first day of camp.
As the Ravens’ franchise player last season, Suggs had been away from the Ravens for the entire offseason heading into camp last year.
“Remember, I didn’t have training camp, and I think that really ended me,” Suggs said. “I didn’t get the chance to get into game shape. This year, I’m taking the bull by the horns.”
Suggs also dealt with a shoulder injury heading into last season.
“It’s just dieting right and running a little bit more,” Suggs said. “Every athlete goes through an up-and-down time in their career. Last year was mine. There are no exceptions.”
Suggs limped off the field for a few plays, but quickly returned to action.
The fans were concerned after seeing cornerback Domonique Foxworth lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“In training camp, you’re going to get a little ding here and there,” Suggs said. “It just sidelined me for a few plays, but I walked it off. Let’s go.”
HEAP FEELING BETTER: Tight end Todd Heap remains on the non-football illness list and didn’t practice Friday due to a virus that caused swollen tonsils.
Heap attended practice and is expected to return soon
“He’s over the top of it now,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll start working back into the running stuff in the next day or so. He should be back quickly.”
KINDLE HAS NARCOLEPSY: Injured rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle has narcolepsy, according to Harbaugh.
The second-round draft pick has a fractured skull suffered when falling down two flights of stairs last week and has been ruled out of training camp.
University of Texas coach Mack Brown recently said that narcolepsy might be why Kindle fell down the stairs. Reports surfaced prior to the NFL draft that Kindle has narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder, as well as attention deficit disorder and regularly fell asleep in team meetings.
“That’s something that came up in our information gather in the draft,” Harbaugh said. “So, we knew about that. So, that’s an issue. He’s got medication for that.”
WASHINGTON RETURNS: Out for the past seven months with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, cornerback Fabian Washington practiced on a limited basis Friday afternoon for the first time since last season when he injured his knee.
Washington wore a red jersey indicating that he’s off-limits to contact.
He sat out the morning practice after being removed from the physically unable to perform list on Thursday when he passed his physical.
“The talent that we have here, it may not be touted around the league,” Foxworth said. “If you ask the people here, it’s guys we have faith in. We’re going to prepare better than any other team in the league.”
BIG HIT: Former Pro Bowl running back Willis McGahee received a rude greeting at camp when he got socked in the mouth by strong safety Dawan Landry, losing a fake tooth.
After absorbing the shoulder hit, McGahee left the field with a trainer and was spitting out blood due to the fake tooth injuring his lip.
McGahee said later that the tooth is an insert that he’s had since high school.
“That’s a live period,” Harbaugh said. “Dawan is a big hitter, so we expect to see some of that.”
BIRK ON THE MEND: Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk remains on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason elbow surgery, but he expects to return soon.
“It’s feeling good, I’ve been doing my rehab two, three, four times per day,” said Birk, who had the surgery after the Ravens’ minicamps. “I don’t suspect it will be too much longer.”
Chris Chester has stepped in for Birk at center.
“Chris has done great,” Birk said. “I wish I was out there, but it’s developing depth for the offensive line. Chris is more than able. I just try to support him and the rest of the guys. I’m trying to get healthy and get back out there.”
BIG CROWD: The Ravens had 11,506 fans at their morning practice Friday at McDaniel College, the largest non-scrimmage crowd in team history.
The previous record was 11,078 from last year. Team officials said they handed out 1,400 wristbands for children to get autographs.
QUICK HITS: Offensive tackle Jared Gaither and safety Tom Zbikowski both were dealt with cramps during the afternoon session. … Cornerback Walt Harris was dressed out after passing the conditioning test. Wide receiver Rodelin Anthony was activated after missing time earlier this week with a knee problem … Not practicing: running back Matt Lawrence (knee), Heap, safety Ed Reed (hip), offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (throat), Webb, Birk and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps). .. Harbaugh said that Washington and Lardarius Webb could be ready for the first game of the regular season. … The Ravens are adding well-traveled cornerback Nashville Dyer, a former Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted rookie free agent who was out of football last year. He has also played in NFL Europe, the Canadian Football League and in the Arena Football League. … Tight ends Ed Dickson and Davon Drew have swapped jersey numbers. Dickson now wears No. 83 and Drew wears No. 80. … Reserve outside linebacker Edgar Jones has switched agents, hiring Dallas-based Jordan Woy. He was previously with the same agency as quarterback Joe Flacco. … Cornerback Chris Carr picked off backup quarterback Marc Bulger and returned it for a touchdown, punting the football in celebration. “It’s practice, he’s going to get some on us, I’m sure we’ll get some on him,” Carr said. “You need to try to get better. I’m out here trying to work on my craft, not worrying about if I get a pick to the house.”