It seems that the only person not surprised that Terrell Suggs played 44 snaps against the Houston Texans was indeed, Terrell Suggs.
Defying common medical knowledge, Suggs returned from a torn Achilles tendon a mere five months removed from surgery. His return made headlines across the country – and not just on sports pages – as his quick recovery has been so uncommon.
Yesterday, Suggs ran around the Ravens locker room, clowning around as usual. However, when it comes to answering questions about his health and the current state of his football team, Suggs is all business.
“I just really wanted to get back,” he said. “As you all already know, we have a lot of unfinished business. We have a lot of work undone, and I want to be part of that. So, getting back was the No. 1 priority from the jump.”
Suggs returned in a big way. Quarterback pressure was restored in the Ravens defense, something that has been absent since Week 1. After only seven plays, Suggs recorded his first sack, immediately only putting him 1.5 behind the team leader through six weeks of the season.
“I feel like I’m getting better, slowly but surely getting back to my normal self,” he said.
Those familiar with Suggs would classify him as anything but normal, but for a guy so abnormal, his accomplishments on the field in Houston didn’t surprise last year’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“Like I said, the rehab process was a challenge,” Suggs said. “It wasn’t easy, but we all made a decision that if I wasn’t going to be able to play ‘x’ amount of plays, then it wasn’t necessarily [good] for me to line back up. It wasn’t surprising at all.”
Heading into their matchup this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens defense find themselves ranked 28th overall – a rare place for what was once such a feared unit. Even though he has little to do with their performance so far, Suggs owns up to the team’s struggles.
“That’s not a stat for one man, it’s a team thing” said Suggs. “We all just have to get back to playing Ravens-style football. Like, I said, we’re not panicking, we’re not hitting the panic button, but we know we have to address it and it needs to get fixed ASAP.”
This week, Suggs has his sights set on the Browns’ rookie quarterback, Brandon Weeden. Even though a predetermined amount of snaps hasn’t been dictated for him, Suggs knows he’s going to do whatever it takes to get in Weeden’s head.
“If you have to go beyond the call of duty, they so be it. It’s pretty much by any means necessary.”
During the Ravens’ 23-16 win over the Browns earlier this season, Weeden was rarely pressured. On the night, Weeden was only sacked once by Paul Kruger and had plenty of time to complete his passes. And complete them he did, throwing for a total of 320 yards on a rainy evening.
With Suggs back in the mix, chances are that won’t happen again – even with the game in front of Weeden’s home crowd.