There was no pomp and circumstance at M&T Bank Stadium for the return of one of the greatest players in Ravens history and a potential future Hall of Famer.
When you’re not wearing purple, the red carpet doesn’t get rolled out.
Terrell Suggs returned to Baltimore wearing red as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, and it didn’t exactly go as he planned.
“It was bittersweet,” Suggs said. “It was good to be back, and it was great to play in the stadium where I played most of my career. I really wanted to win, but this was the weirdest thing I’ve ever been a part of."
“I wanted to come in here and beat up on my brothers and get a win.”
When the Cardinals were introduced and came running out of the visitors’ tunnel, they were met with the standard boos from Baltimore fans – until Suggs came sprinting out.
As soon as fans saw his new No. 56, they broke into applause. Suggs ran the length of the field to the opposite end zone, where he was met with a standing ovation by fans who loved every one of his 132.5 career sacks during 17 years in purple. Suggs gave them a salute in return.
“It was very humbling, but it made me feel good,” Suggs said. “I felt the love of the fans. I know they wanted to show their appreciation for me. But once the game started, I knew they weren’t rooting for me.”
After posting two sacks and a forced fumble in his Cardinals debut last week, Suggs posted just three tackles (one solo) and zero sacks against the Ravens.
He mostly went up against Orlando Brown Jr., the massive second-year blocker who loves to get physical in the trenches.
“I do not have any friends when I’m out there, whether it’s blood or not,” Brown said. “If you’re not wearing purple, I’m not messing with you. … He is one of the greatest to ever do it. He has done a lot for this town, a lot for this team.”
Suggs was jawing at refs looking for calls (he got a holding penalty on Brown that wiped out a long run). He jumped on Lamar Jackson’s back at the end of a scramble, which got a slap on the back of the helmet from the Ravens quarterback.
Suggs said there was less trash talk than he expected at times, and more than he expected at other times.
“It was definitely different, but that is the NFL,” said veteran Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda, who played with Suggs for 12 years. “He’s one of the guys I most respect. He has done things the right way. But again, this is part of the NFL, and he understood once we started playing, it was game on.”
After the game, numerous Ravens players, coaches and staff members met Suggs in the middle of the field to say hello and wish him the best. Someday, Suggs will probably be back at midfield as he’s welcomed into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor.
“He’s Suggs,” defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. “I love him to death no matter where he is or what jersey he’s wearing. He’ll always be a brother.”