Terrell Suggs Backs Off Return Date, But Still Optimistic

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Terrell Suggs  initially told reporters after he injured his Achilles tendon that he would be back on the football field by November.

More than six weeks later, is that still the case?

"Maybe we were shooting too far?" Suggs asked in his first session with the media after Thursday's minicamp. "[We'll] never know. We'll see."

Suggs is off crutches now and going through the rehab process with the Ravens' medical staff, including head trainer Mark Smith. While he didn't provide an exact date for his return, he emphasized that he will play in 2012.

"Like I said before when I first got injured, I will be in a Baltimore Ravens uniform in 2012," Suggs said. "The only question is when."

The November timetable initially came when Suggs first visited the doctor.

Terrell Suggs Focused On All-Pro Rehabbing

"When they did the timetable, you kind of look at the months, and I was like, 'Oh, I can be back by then,'" Suggs said. "But, like I said, I am not a doctor, so that's just a guess. It feels good now, I guess. We'll know in my progression when I will actually be able to come back."

While saying he's not going to rush it, Suggs is also more confident that he can return quicker than normal because he underwent a new type of procedure that included a smaller incision. Suggs suffered his injury on April 28 and had surgery on May 8.

He said he's been* *doing rehab two-a-days during the three-day minicamp and is setting up a plan with Smith for the time off between now and training camp.

"Right now rehab is my football field," Suggs said. "And until I master it, I won't be out there. So, I'm definitely trying to become All-Pro at that, ASAP."

It's hard on Suggs not to be on the actual field. He admits he used to dread minicamp.

But now wearing a "You Only Live Once" T-shirt instead of a jersey, his tune has changed.

"I'd be like, 'Oh my God, I got minicamp,'" Suggs said. "Now, I've never appreciated [minicamp] so much, because I've never had to sit and watch my brothers go to battle without me," he said. "So, it's definitely frustrating, but it's going to be a learning experience for me."

Suggs said teammates told him that he better be the same "Sizzle" or they're going to let him know about it. The team has dealt with injuries to star players before, including going four games without Ray Lewis last year and six without Ed Reed the year before.

"We are all kind of back to leaning on each other," Suggs said. "They know we're not taking any steps back, and we're definitely not going to let this [points to his foot] take any steps back. We are trying to get over the hump, not only finish where we left off, but get it done this time."

Asked whether the defense can survive without him, Suggs said "absolutely."

"This defense has tons of stars," he said. "This defense definitely can get it done and hold the levies until I get back."

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