Terrell Suggs, the longest-tenured Ravens player, insisted Wednesday morning that he has not given much thought to whether Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns will be the last of his 16-year career.
“There’s a lot of things that’s always a possibility, but you can’t really harp on the negative, you know what I’m saying?” the venerable outside linebacker said before practice. “So, I mean, it possibly could, but it hasn’t crossed my mind like, ‘Oh my God.’ We’ve got business to handle, you know what I’m saying? And we’ll handle that and, like I said … we’ll cross every bridge when it comes to that.”
If the game at M&T Bank Stadium is his final regular-season finale, Suggs will depart as one of the franchise’s most celebrated players. Suggs, who turned 36 on Oct. 11, is the organization’s all-time leader in sacks (132½) and forced fumbles (35) and ranks second in total tackles (844) and fumble recoveries (14).
Sunday will mark the 229th game of his career, which will break a tie with middle linebacker Ray Lewis’ franchise record for games played. Suggs jokingly recoiled when asked about the potential accomplishment.
“What if I die today?” he said. “You’re picturing a no-hitter, man. It’s a long time between here and Sunday. I mean, it’d be flattering, it’d be honoring, but [if] I slip and fall or something, that’s not good. So we’ll talk about those bridges once we cross them.”
Suggs, who was the 10th overall selection in the 2003 draft, said his longevity has surprised him.
“I never thought about it that long,” he said. “You never want to cap yourself, but if you had told me, a 20-year-old kid coming into the league, like, ‘Yo, you at least got 16 [years],’ that would’ve blew me away. But I would never know. But I’m just glad that the great Lord has blessed me to play this long.”
Suggs’ 32 tackles this season would be his second-lowest total for a season in which he played all 16 games. His seven sacks would rank as the lowest total for a 16-game season since 2007, when he finished with five.
Teammates and coach John Harbaugh have roundly praised Suggs for his cerebral approach to studying football and opposing offenses. But Harbaugh said he has not spent much time contemplating Suggs’ legacy.
“I’m not thinking about what Terrell Suggs means to the franchise right now,” he said Monday. “We’re thinking about playing this game. And I’m quite sure that if you asked him, he would say the exact same thing. So why don’t we just leave it at that? I think we all know what Terrell Suggs means to the franchise, and I really appreciate him as a player, and a person and a leader. I love being around him every single day — couldn’t be around a better guy, a better football man. And that’s what we’re here for. So that’s what we’re focusing on.”