OWINGS MILLS - Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is expected to be activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list this week and begin practicing on a limited basis, according to multiple reports.
Baltimore will then have three weeks to promote Suggs to the active roster or be forced to put him on injured reserve, although it's still unclear when Suggs will make his season debut. The Ravens could activate Suggs prior to when he's actually ready to play and just carry him on the roster until he is ready.
Suggs had surgery in May to repair a partial tear of his right Achilles tendon.
At the time, Suggs said he expected to return at some point during the end of October or beginning of November.
"He's got his target date," Harbaugh said in late September. "He's doing well. The main thing we want to do now is make sure there's no setback and he continues to get in shape and continues to get stronger."
Without Suggs, Baltimore has just 10 sacks through their first six games, only two of which have come from outside linebackers.
The Ravens are ranked 26th in the NFL - out of 32 teams - in total defense, 26th in rush defense and 22nd in pass defense. They're also now coping with season-ending injuries to future Hall of Fame middle linebacker Ray Lewis and top cornerback Lardarius Webb.
Suggs is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, coming off a season he posted a career-best 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles.
Baltimore's top pick (10th overall) in the 2003 NFL draft, Suggs is the team's all-time leader in sacks (82½) and forced fumbles (29).
He's also a strong presence against the run.
But Harbaugh warned that expectations should be tempered for Suggs upon his return to the field.
"I don't think as soon as he gets on the field it's not like he's going to be back to Defensive Player of the Year form," Harbaugh said in September. "We need to all understand that. Just give him a little space and kind of let him grow into this thing, [but] he is going to be back."
NOTE: Baltimore placed Webb on injured reserve Tuesday and promoted running back Bobby Rainey from the practice squad to the active roster.
The 5-foot-8, 212-pound Rainey was one of the breakout players of training camp and the preseason, referred to by fullback Vonta Leach as "a clone to Ray Rice."
He was a part of the Ravens' original 53-man roster before being cut to make room for fellow running back Anthony Allen prior to Baltimore's season-opening win against the Cincinnati Bengals, a move Harbaugh attributed to Allen's value on special teams.