The colorful outside linebacker broke into song as he emerged from the team’s training facility in Owings Mills before driving a golf cart to join his defensive teammates on the field. It was the first sign that the franchise’s longest-tenured player was not going to end his year after tearing his left biceps in the fourth quarter of a 27-23 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 16.
After practice, Suggs, 34, was his usual outspoken self when asked why he insisted on returning.
“Man, who am I? What team do I play for? I come from an area where this is just a bump in the road,” he said. “It may be season-ending for somebody else. It’s not season-ending for Ravens. I’ve played through it before. I told you all that. That was always the plan. Last time I tore it [in 2012] I missed the first game. I came back and struggled through the second game. I slowly but surely got it back, and it came at a good time. We’ve got nine left. We’re still in second place in the division, and we can still do some things. I want to be here when we do that.”
Asked later why he did not find a spot on injured reserve, Suggs replied, “Have we met? I don’t go on IR unless I absolutely have to, if I tear another Achilles or some [stuff].”
Suggs’ presence could be an encouraging sign for a squad mired in a four-game losing streak. Although the Ravens sacked New York Jets quarterbacks Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick five times in Sunday’s 24-16 loss, defensive coordinator Dean Pees said he welcomes Suggs’ veteran experience in the defensive huddle.
“The thing about Sizz is, not only just his physical ability, he’s our leader,” Pees said, using Suggs’ nickname. “He’s our leader, and it’s always great to have your leader back.”
Suggs practiced while wearing a harness on his left arm and said unlike the first time, he will wear the harness during games.
“It’s most definitely a pain tolerance thing,” he said. “But it’s also a win tolerance thing. How much do you want to win? How much do you want to play?”
Suggs’ first game could be Nov. 6 when the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers visit M&T Bank Stadium. For Suggs, who has registered 14½ of his 111½ career sacks against Pittsburgh, the timing seems perfect.
“Your greatest opponent always brings the best out of you,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to come back and play against those guys. Everybody knows what’s riding on it. It’s going to be a big game. I want to be a part of it.”
End zone: Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg accepted the blame for the offense's second-half showing of zero points, three first downs, 42 total yards, and negative rushing yards against the Jets. "Geez, I was juiced at halftime!" he exclaimed. "Really, I'm just being honest. One thing I wanted to do — and I didn't get it done — was I wanted to come out and run the ball, and our first couple of runs just were not very good. Then all of a sudden, some bad things happened. It is my responsibility." … While Jimmy Smith has anchored one starting cornerback spot, the second starter role has rotated between Wright, Jerraud Powers, Will Davis, and Young. It sounds like secondary coach Leslie Frazier is leaning toward Young, assuming he can remain healthy. "We'd like for them, when they have an opportunity to make plays, to make plays, and that's the one thing that Tavon has done for us," Frazier said of the rookie, who ranks second on the team in interceptions (two) and seventh in tackles (20). "He's had some opportunities, and he's made some plays." … Wide receiver Dobson Collins, who was with the team in training camp, was signed to the practice squad. He fills the spot vacated by cornerback Robertson Daniel when he was promoted to the active roster Saturday.