Matt Vensel, Ravens reporter: This offseason I wrote about how the Ravens would like a pass rusher to complement Terrell Suggs. Now they might need one to replace him. If it's a season-ending injury -- we don't know that yet -- the pressure will be on Paul Kruger and Courtney Upshaw to pick up the slack. But even if Suggs misses just part of the season and is able to return, this is a major blow to the team's title hopes, especially with so many good quarterbacks on their schedule.
Chris Korman, reporter/editor: First off, a devastating injury for a jovial, interesting guy. That's tough to see, and while there's going to be some righteous indignation about Terrell Suggs daring to (reportedly) play pickup hoops in the offseason, it's unwarranted. It's perfectly natural for him to use basketball as part of his training. He could have just as easily suffered the same injury doing plyometrics work. Without Suggs, the Ravens' defense will be much more static. Suggs was a big-game, big-play leader. The Ravens play at a different -- championship -- level when Suggs is on (think Pittsburgh.) And certainly they'll miss that. But they also have nobody to even come close to holding Suggs' place on the line. The pressure on second-round pick Courtney Upshaw just increased 100 fold, and new defensive coordinator Dean Pees -- who has been in that spot before -- will need to shape the unit.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Suddenly, the decision to draft Courtney Upshaw with the Ravens' first pick in the draft looks particularly clairvoyant. If Suggs suffered a complete Achilles' rupture, the Ravens will need all hands on deck -- Upshaw, Paul Kruger and others (Sergio Kindle?) -- to fill a void that could exist all season.
Kevin Cowherd, columnist: It’s not the end of the world, even though talk radio is treating it that way this morning. It’s hard to replace a Terrell Suggs, but I fully expect the Ravens to trade for an experienced pass rusher in the coming months. The Courtney Upshaw draft pick looks like a total winner now. And if Sergio Kindle can finally be the player the Ravens hoped he’d be two years ago, the team can weather this storm.
Ron Fritz, head of sports: This is obviously a devastating injury for the Ravens, but with the front office and coaching staff the team has in place, it doesn’t have to be an injury that kills the Ravens’ 2012 season. The Ravens always pride themselves on “next man up.” But Suggs is one of the few players the Ravens could not afford to lose (Joe Flacco, Ray Rice being the others). The offseason just got a whole lot more interesting for the Ravens.