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Late For Work 10/18: Schefter: 'Real Chance' Suggs Plays vs. Houston

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Sizzle comeback poster. Likelihood Lewis returns this season. Webb’s replacement hurt.

Schefter: 'Real Chance' Suggs Plays vs. Houston

This would be a miraculous return, if it turns out to be true ...

Just a day after ESPN’s Adam Schefter said it is unlikely for outside linebacker Terrell Suggs to play Sunday, the NFL insider broke news this morning that Sizzle is not only targeting a return for Sunday, but he is expecting it.

“Sources said that even Suggs’ family and friends have plans to travel to Houston in anticipation of watching him stage one of the quickest returns from this type of significant injury that any athlete ever has,” wrote Schefter.

“Yes, that’s still the plan,” a source texted to Schefter today.

Suggs only returned to practice for the first time yesterday, and the decision to play Sunday isn’t final.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said he wants to see how Suggs responds to practice. And the team still wants to make sure the reigning Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t suffer any setbacks, says Schefter.

On top of just making sure the injury is fully healed, Schefter says Suggs has to work on shedding some pounds.

“Suggs appears to have added weight during his layoff that he may try to shed in coming weeks,” Schefter wrote.

The organization has repeatedly stayed away from putting a timetable on Suggs’ return, “but more and more it’s looking like there’s a real chance, maybe a better than real chance, that Suggs will make his season debut Sunday,” says Schefter.

Suggs is scheduled to speak with the media later today, so he may provide some clarity on his plans for this weekend.

Click image to make larger

Suggs Comeback Poster

Whether it’s versus the Texans, Browns or Raiders, the “Sizzle Comeback” is looming.

Suggs shared this movie-like trailer poster on Twitter and Facebook, which depicted the outside linebacker as a mysterious, angry … “it.”

“It’s coming. And it’s mad,” the poster says. He also has T-shirts for sale.

“I love Ravens' Nation!  Yall come up with some awesome stuff!” Suggs tweeted.

The Likelihood Of Lewis Actually Returning This Season

Ravens nation received a glimmer of hope that Lewis, who tore his triceps Sunday, will make a return this season.

Lewis’ injury was originally designated as season ending, but the Ravens left the door open for a return by putting the Ravens leader on the injured reserve, designated for return list, which means NFL rules would allow him to return by Dec. 12 at the earliest.

But how likely is it that Lewis returns by December, or even in late January if the Ravens advance that far in the playoffs?

Schefter weighed in:

“If [the team] goes on one of those playoff runs, it goes into the middle of January, possibly early February, then they’re hoping that Ray Lewis can rejoin them if for no other reason than the emotional boost that he will  provide with the leadership that he brings to that entire organization,” he said. “And with the idea, however remote it might be that he could rejoin the team, why not keep that hope alive?”

According to reports, it generally takes at least four months to fully recover from a torn triceps muscle, and even if the Ravens advanced to the Super Bowl, Lewis would be one week short of that recovery period after undergoing surgery yesterday.

But as we see in Suggs’ case, predictions may not always prove true.

While he doesn’t like to bet against Lewis, who has defied all odds by playing 17 seasons, Hensley doesn’t see the 37 year old making a recovery that quickly.

“My take is that this is a nice gesture by the Ravens but it's still unrealistic – although not impossible –  to think Lewis will be back at any point this season,” the AFC North blogger wrote.

“If Lewis is somehow able to be there for a Super Bowl run, it could set up a dramatic finish to a legendary career. Lewis once indicated that he would retire if the Ravens won another Super Bowl.”

Webb’s Replacement Injured

Here’s another injured Raven to keep an eye on – cornerback Jimmy Smith, who is expected to fill in for top corner Webb the rest of the season.

Smith did not participate in practice yesterday because of an abdominal injury, which Head Coach John Harbaugh described as minor.

After replacing Webb for nearly three quarters against the Cowboys, Smith then had to come off the field himself, forcing second-year player Chykie Brown to take over in final moments of the nail-biting victory.

Smith will have to overcome any potential negative effects the injury might have in order to hush his critics, who say he hasn’t lived up to the billing of a first-round pick.

“The Ravens need fellow cornerback Jimmy Smith to live up to the lofty expectations that come with being a former first-round pick,” wrote The Baltimore Sun’s Matt Vensel.

“[H]e couldn't play well enough and stay healthy enough to supplant Cary Williams as a starter during training camp, and he hadn't showed enough to convince the Ravens to start him over Williams when Williams was getting picked on by quarterbacks early in the season (mostly due to the presence of Webb). It's way too early to label Smith a disappointment, but he hasn't yet met the lofty expectations that came with his draft status.”

Vensel isn’t ready to label Smith, but Hensley is.

Smith is only in his second NFL season, but Hensley already designated him as a "rare Ravens first-round miss."

Ravens fan, Andrew, called out Hensley for his early label.

Seriously? He's been in the league for not even a year and a half,” Andrew wrote in a live chat. “He's got loads of potential, shown flashes of it and as for those red flags he had? Yeah, he hasn't had any off the field problems so far. What say you?”

Hensley didn’t back down, replying: “Smith hasn't been able to beat out Cary Williams. Name the last Ravens' first-round pick who wasn't starting by his second season. You can't. Don't [disagree] that he has potential. But right now, he's clearly a disappointment.”

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