Terrell Suggs is back.
The outside linebacker came off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and was on the practice field for the first time this year Wednesday after suffering an offseason Achilles tendon injury.
Suggs didn't participate in strenuous activity during the portion of practice open to media. He jogged out to the field and did some stretching before throwing a ball around with safety Ed Reed.
The closest to football action he displayed during the open session was blindsiding play-by-play radio announcer Gerry Sandusky as he was shooting a Rave-TV video on the side of the field.
"To what extent, to what he is able to do, I think we just temper our expectations a little bit," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He's coming off a very serious injury, an Achilles tear. We'll just see how he does."
The Ravens now have a three-week window to evaluate Suggs in practice before he must be signed to the active roster or placed on injured reserve. If Suggs is activated, that means he will likely be ready for game action by Nov. 7 (Week 10 versus Oakland) at the latest.
The Ravens have not ruled out the possibility of Suggs playing this Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Suggs had successful surgery on his Achilles tendon on May 8, making his return just five months and nine days later.
"He's worked really hard," Harbaugh said. "He's done a great job with the rehab. He's followed the protocol. He had no setbacks throughout the course of the whole deal. So, that's a credit to him and a credit to the doctors and to our trainers."
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year would be a huge boost to Baltimore's defense, especially after it lost linebacker Ray Lewis possibly for the season and cornerback Lardarius Webb.
It's unknown at this time how high a level Suggs can play when he returns, but getting the physical edge setter, run stuffer and pass rusher back on the field is a definite positive.
"I'm just happy to have him back," defensive end Pernell McPhee said. "There's going to be more energy, more pressure for the D-line. There's going to be a lot more focus off Haloti [Ngata] and me for sure, and [Paul] Kruger."
McPhee was asked if Suggs' return would turnaround a defense currently ranked 26th in the NFL in average yards allowed per game and coming off back-to-back games with more than 200 rushing yards allowed.
"No doubt," McPhee said. "Sizz is that all-around defensive player. He can play the run or play the pass. That's what we need."
Suggs' return means more than just his play on the field. It means one of the team's biggest personalities and leaders is back.
During his rehabilitation, Suggs couldn't be as involved with his teammates during practice and at other times. He declined all interviews with the media, and will speak for the first time since training camp on Thursday.
Suggs was up to his usual pranks Wednesday. He walked out a side door to practice, then mocked cameramen who were expecting him to walk out the main doors. Suggs then used Reed to block cameramen's angles at him.
He had the movie "Goodfellas" blaring at his locker and had a good sweat going by the time he walked into the locker room with a smile on his face.
"His presence alone makes us smile," cornerback Jimmy Smith said. "His presence alone makes everybody in this building smile. So, just the fact that he's getting back out there and doing what he can do, or at least starting to, gives everybody a bright smile on their face."