Now Head Coach John Harbaugh already expects he will be back to a full workload this Sunday against the Browns.
“We expect him to take on a full share this week, which he pretty much did last week,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “He was pretty close to that last time, not quite, but he was in that neighborhood.”
Before Suggs’ incredible return to the field, Harbaugh urged everyone to “temper our expectations” about what he would immediately be able to do after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon less than six months prior to playing.
But then Suggs surpassed expectations by coming back in midseason form, finishing with four tackles, one sack, one deflected pass and one quarterback hit. He played into the fourth quarter and was on the field for more than half of the defensive snaps (44-of-80).
He said he didn’t feel any soreness the day after his return, and he practiced with the rest of his teammates the following Tuesday.
After that impressive showing, are the expectations raised?
“We live by a certain standard here in this purple, so the expectations never changed,” Suggs said Wednesday. “We’re going to go play football and we need to go play winning football and that’s for every man lining up.”
Getting Suggs back on the field could be just what the Ravens’ ailing defense needs. The unit ranks 28th in the NFL in yards allowed and has also struggled to generate a consistent pass rush. Inserting the reigning Defensive Player of the Year back into the lineup could help curb some of those issues.
“It boosts our confidence and it kind of finds that little swagger we’ve been looking for,” nose tackle
Suggs, however, dismissed the notion that he will be the cure-all for the defense.
“One man is not going to change that, it’s definitely a team effort,” he said. “I think we all go to do things better, the whole defense. It’s not one man. It’s not the personnel. It’s really just executing and being accountable.”
Suggs did not provide a specific anticipated snap count for this weekend, but said that he is “slowly but surely” starting to feel like his old self.
One area where Suggs is taking on more of a pronounced role is with his leadership.
The 10-year veteran is noticeably vocal on the sidelines and on the field. Harbaugh has noticed Suggs stepping up in that regard, especially with veteran
“Terrell has been a great leader in his way all through the years, and to me he’s growing in that all the time,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been a leader for us all year. He hasn’t been able to step out in front for us as much as he’d like to because he wasn’t playing, but he’s been a part of it all year. Now that he’s playing, he’s really taking an even bigger role."