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Ravens notebook: John Harbaugh on Terrell Suggs' return date: 'None of us know'

Terrell SuggsFootballJohn HarbaughBaltimore RavensDez BryantDallas Cowboys

Ravens coach John Harbaugh applied the brakes a bit when asked to gauge when Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs will return from a partially torn right Achilles tendon.

Harbaugh was noncommittal on Suggs' outlook following reports that the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year is targeting an Oct. 21 game against the Houston Texans to make his comeback.

"None of us know," Harbaugh said twice Monday afternoon at team headquarters.

Suggs is eligible to be activated from the physically unable to perform list following Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.  However, Suggs isn't expected to return in time for the Texans game, according  to a league source.

The source emphasized the Ravens will be careful with  Suggs, backing up Harbaugh's assertion that it's too early to tell when the Pro Bowl pass rusher will be back after getting hurt in late April and undergoing surgery.

The source said Suggs is more likely to return at some point during November.

Although Harbaugh stressed that Suggs has made progress, he added it's hard to determine a timetable.

"He's really worked hard," Harbaugh said. "The reality of it is the guy has done a great job of preparing himself. The six-week window ends before the Houston game, right? Could it be that game? We have the bye week, then two weeks after that or three weeks after that. His progress from between now and then is going to determine that. We don't know that yet.

"Once he gets out there and starts practicing, then we'll just have a better indication. Is it a possibility? Yes, because he's eligible to come back then, and he looks pretty good right now. But he's not going through any football workouts yet. He hasn't been through a practice of anything like that yet. I don't think you know until you see him at practice."

Harbaugh was noncommittal on Suggs' outlook following reports that Suggs is targeting an Oct. 21 game against the Houston Texans to get back on the field.

Tough outing for Oher, Osemele

After allowing a total of four sacks to outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston during a 9-6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, the job doesn't get easier for left offensive tackle Michael Oher and rookie right tackle Kelechi Osemele.

Oher will square off with Dallas Cowboys star outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware on Sunday while Osemele will block outside linebacker Anthony Spencer, Dallas' franchise player.

Ware already has five sacks and three forced fumbles this season, and Spencer has two sacks.
In eight NFL seasons, Ware has 104 1/2 sacks and 30 forced fumbles.

"We did some good things, and we did some not so good things," Harbaugh said of how Oher and Osemele fared Sunday. "I'd say we were inconsistent, probably. It's going to happen sometimes on the road against two excellent pass rushers. We've got two great pass rushers coming in this week, so that's why it's an important thing to look at.

"We got edged once or twice one-on-one. We got beat inside once or twice, one time on what we call a 'me game' where the end goes first and the tackle comes around second. So, those are the things we're going to definitely have to work on."

Showing respect

Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston delivered an epic rant after the game, ripping the fans at Arrowhead Stadium for cheering when quarterback Matt Cassel got knocked out of the game with a concussion.

"We are athletes, we are not gladiators," Winston told Kansas City reporters. "This isn't the Roman Coliseum. It's 100 percent sickening. I've never been so embarrassed in my life to play football. Matt's a person and he got knocked out in a game and we got 70,000 people cheering. If you're one of those people who were out there cheering, or even smiled, when he got knocked out, I just want everyone to know it's sickening and disgusting."

Harbaugh sympathized with Winston's sentiment of showing respect for a fallen player.

"That's tough," he said. "I can see where, as a player, that would be something that would definitely be something that you'd be frustrated by. I know when he got up and came off our guys clapped. That's what you do. You understand that it's a physically very tough game.

"Some of the guys make a lot of money, but still it doesn't make it any less challenging what they go through. Most fans really respect that. Most fans understand that. Most fans express it maybe the right way more often than not, but it happens. It's just part of sports."

Rash of drops

The Ravens had a handful of dropped passes Sunday, including two by wide receiver Anquan Boldin and one apiece by tight end Dennis Pitta, running back Ray Rice and fullback Vonta Leach.

"We had a lot of dropped balls," Leach said. "That's on me and the receivers. Hey, we got to make plays when our number is called."

When asked if the rash of dropped passes is a concern going forward, Harbaugh had a predictable reaction.

"We don't like drops," Harbaugh said. "We're not happy about that. We would really much prefer to catch the ball when we get the opportunity."

Ravens evaluated Dez Bryant

Shortly before the NFL draft three years ago, the Ravens flew in mercurial wide receiver Dez Bryant  for a visit.

The Oklahoma State standout met with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh and went out to dinner with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

However, Bryant was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 24th overall pick of the first round. And the Ravens subsequently traded their 25th overall pick to the Denver Broncos, dropping out of the first round in exchange for second-round, third-round and fourth-round selections that were used to pick outside linebacker Sergio Kindle and tight ends Ed Dickson and Pitta.

It's unclear if the Ravens would have drafted Bryant, who drew red flags on several NFL teams' draft boards because of concerns about his character.

Although Bryant has been involved in multiple controversies off the field and his character sent up red flags with many NFL teams prior to the 2010 draft, he's caught 129 career passes for 1,758 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"It was a long time ago," Harbaugh said. "We liked him. Whether we would have taken him with that pick if we hadn't traded out, I really don't know. Ozzie is right upstairs, you could ask him if you want. He's a good player. He's a really talented guy."

End zone

Strong safety Bernard Pollard is still dealing with the aftermath of a painful rib contusion suffered against the Philadelphia Eagles. "That's the nicks and bruises of the game," he said. "It's all right. You're never going to be 100 percent in this game." ... Lardarius Webb was grateful for fellow cornerback Cary Williams tipping the football into the air on a pass intended for Dwayne Bowe, leading to his first interception of the season. "Cary made it the easiest interception I've ever had," Webb said. "I told him thanks." Like Webb, Williams intercepted a pass intended for Bowe that glanced off his hands. "We knew that was his favorite target," Williams said. "When he went up, he happened to make a mistake. He dropped it. It bounced off his shoulder pad. Once it went up in the air, I figured the ball was mine and I just had to go get it." Williams caught some friendly fire from free safety Ed Reed while securing the turnover. "I wasn't expecting Ed Reed to hit me the way he did," Williams said. "He put a pretty good lick on me. I thought I was concussed. He ended up tackling me. When I opened my eyes, it was all black. All I saw was all black, but he was talking to me so I knew I wasn't concussed."
awilson@baltsun.com

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Terrell SuggsFootballJohn HarbaughBaltimore RavensDez BryantDallas Cowboys
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