Ravens notes: Team aiming to lighten veteran Terrell Suggs’ workload

Terrell Suggs played a season-high 66 snaps in the Ravens’ 12-9 overtime loss Sunday at the Cleveland Browns. He collected his 19th career sack against Cleveland, which gives the outside linebacker the most sacks in his career against a single opponent.

Sunday represented Suggs’ heaviest workload since playing 71 snaps in last year’s 31-27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the season finale Dec. 31 at M&T Bank Stadium. The defense’s reliance on Suggs on Sunday was partly based on the absence of outside linebacker Tim Williams, who was deactivated because of a hamstring injury before the game.

But coach John Harbaugh said he would prefer a lighter load for the 16-year pro, who turns 36 on Thursday.

“That’s more snaps than you want him playing,” Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s a little bit Timmy Williams being hurt, a little bit just how many snaps we had in the game. But yeah, we’d like to not have him out there for 65 snaps. We’d like not to be out there for 65 snaps on defense total.”

No criticism

One day after quarterback Joe Flacco took umbrage with a block-in-the-back penalty on wide receiver Chris Moore in overtime, Harbaugh declined to take a similar approach.

The call on Moore negated running back Alex Collins’ 17-yard run that would have taken the offense to the Browns’ 36-yard line, and Flacco called the penalty “kind of bogus.” But Harbaugh chose the diplomatic route.

“The officials do the best job that they can,” he said. “There’s a lot of calls out there that you look at and you scratch your head about, whether it be holding or defensive holding or offensive tackle’s holding. You can go back at the tape, and you can find a lot of that. So to do that is just not worth your time as a coach.

“You coach your guys, coach your team. We have not had a lot of trouble with penalties. We've been very disciplined that way, unlike a number of teams that we've been playing. And that’s good, that’s an advantage for us. We want to keep building on that advantage. So, do the best you can, sometimes things move a little fast out there, but there’s ways to avoid calls. Would’ve been great if we didn’t have that call there, for sure, but we’ll take responsibility for it.”

Another blocked kick

Justin Tucker’s 48-yard field-goal attempt just before halftime that was blocked by Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward was the second blocked field goal of the season for the Ravens. Harbaugh said the team has to do a better job giving Tucker time to kick. “We’re probably going to have to get two hands on those guys all the time,” Harbaugh said. “It’s something we need to do on the edge. But it was really well executed. It was more their execution than something we didn’t do well, but there’s always something you can do to stop something that they do. On those edge rushes, we’ll have to do a better job.”

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