Terrell Suggs motivated to return from Achilles tear
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs hasn't been seen or heard from much since tearing his Achilles in September, save for his Week 16 sideline visit for the Steelers game. Despite the devastating injury, getting carted off the field is not how the 33-year-old plans to exit the game for good.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome relayed word via the team's official website that Suggs plans on returning for a 14th season despite the grueling rehab required. Newsome added that Suggs stayed away from the team so as to not be a distraction to the rest of his teammates.
"In my last conversation with him, his answer to me was ‘I don’t want to leave the game the way I left it out in Denver. I think he’s using that as motivation.
"I think he had his reasons why for not being here, both personal and other reasons. He chose not to be in the building so that the focal point is on the guys, as he would say – on the field, and not necessarily on him as a guy that’s rehabbing."
The Ravens' defense struggled throughout the season without its leader, particularly in the first half. Owner Steve Bisciotti admitted that even he may have underestimated Suggs' impact.
"The one thing that I think I underestimated was when Suggs went down in Week 1. Now, at the end of the year, I think I didn’t come close to understanding the impact.
"I think you can look back and say we could have lost anybody on that defense in Week 1 other than Suggs, and it wouldn’t have had the kind of trickle-down effect that it had on our whole defense."
Not having Suggs certainly helped opponents contain fellow pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, who managed just six sacks after a career-high 17 last season. Suggs still has three years left on his contract. He'll carry a $7.45 million cap hit next season, according to Spotrac.com.