Since making his stunning comeback from a partially torn right Achilles tendon suffered in April, Terrell Suggs has totaled eight tackles, one sack and one batted pass in two games.
But both of those games were on the road against the Houston Texans on Oct. 21 and the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. So the outside linebacker and reigning NFL Defensive Player of Year could expect a raucous reception when he steps onto the field at M&T; Bank Stadium this Sunday for the first time in 2012.
Suggs, however, said he hadn’t entertained the thought of playing before the team’s fans at home until a reporter asked him Wednesday.
“But it’s going to be weird, finally playing in M&T;, but it’s where I belong,” said Suggs, who hasn't played at home since last postseason. “Rehabbing and being in the training room is not where I belong. It’s not the place for me, but on the field, in M&T; with our fans, it’s definitely home for me. I just can’t wait to get out there and start playing for them again.”
With inside linebacker Ray Lewis sidelined by a torn right triceps, the return of Suggs has been an inspirational motivator for the team and fanbase. The decibel level at the stadium could skyrocket if Suggs and the defense are introduced prior to the start of Sunday’s contest against the Oakland Raiders, but Suggs said he won’t lobby coach John Harbaugh for such an arrangement.
“No, I’m going to let it stay as it lies because there’s a certain home game coming up that we might want the defense to get called out for,” Suggs said with a wink, referring to the team’s home meeting against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 2. “But that’s pretty much Coach’s call. It’s all in fun. We have enough marquee offensive guys that the crowd can still get into it, especially with Mighty Mouse [running back Ray Rice] here to the left. So it’s still fun. When I first got here, it certainly wasn’t as loud when the offense got introduced compared to the defense. Now it’s just as loud. It’s pretty awesome, and it’s going to be fun whichever team gets introduced.”
Suggs said he has no problems to report with the right Achilles tendon.
“The only thing that really concerns me is my play,” he said. “As I get better, I’m going to get some of the explosion back and not only that, but my wind, my game-time wind. We pretty much evaluate after every game. The first game, I had 40 snaps. The second game, I had 55 snaps. So we’re definitely progressing in that area, and we’re just going to continue to go.”