Terrell Suggs Set to Surpass Ray Lewis in Games Played and Determined to Play More


Terrell Suggs is about to become the Ravens' all-time leader in games played, surpassing Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, who suited up in purple and black for 228 games with the franchise. But Suggs would rather not discuss that. 

"Really?" said Suggs, who is known for being superstitious. "What if I die today? That would be flattering, honoring, but if I slip and fall or something, that's not good. We'll talk about those bridges when we cross them."

Suggs will also be a free agent this offseason, which means Sunday could be his 229th and last game with the Ravens after 16 seasons if they don't make the playoffs. He would rather not think about that, either.

"You can't really harp on the negative," Suggs said. "It possibly could, but that hasn't crossed my mind like, 'Oh my God!' We got business to handle."

No matter the milestone, regardless of the situation, Suggs keeps his mind locked in the present, just like he locks in on sacking quarterbacks. All he wants for New Year's is a victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, which would give Baltimore its first playoff berth since 2014, and its first AFC North title since 2012.

This is not the time for reflection, but the Ravens' all-time sack leader (132 ½) knows he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Suggs admits he never expected to play this long when he entered the NFL.

"If you had told me as a 20-year-old kid coming into the league, you've at least got 16 (years)? That would've blew me away," Suggs said. "I would have never known. I'm just glad the great Lord has blessed me to play this long."

Then Suggs was asked the question great players often wrestle with. When will he know his career is over?

"You'll just know," Suggs said. "But I don't feel that itch. Ain't no hairs standing up on the back of my neck."

With seven sacks, 32 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this season, Suggs remains one of the team's most impactful defensive players. What Suggs does on the field is only part of his influence. More than any player, Suggs sets the pulse in the locker room with his experience and larger-than-life personality. Teammates know how long he has played, and they regard him as a future Hall of Famer who is a valuable mentor.

"Nothing gets him down," Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda said. "He's going to be a Hall of Famer. He's always positive. I love that. He's always had a positive energy. I respect the hell out of the guy. Ever since I've been here, he's been a cornerstone of this team. That hasn't changed."

Not that Suggs lacks a playful side. For years, Suggs has often driven a golf cart onto the practice field like a kid riding his favorite toy. Nobody is spared from his trash talk during practice. Asked to describe his personality, long snapper Morgan Cox smiled.

"Unique," Cox said. "Loud. Some might say obnoxious. Sizz for years has set the tone for this locker room. He's been a leader in here for a while, just a guy who loves to be in here. He takes his job extremely seriously. The culture is have a lot of fun, but work really hard. If you're around him for five seconds, you know he's having fun. But if you watch him for five seconds on the field, you know he's working really hard, too. From all aspects, he's a great locker room leader."

Suggs' experience often comes into play in clutch situations. There is virtually nothing on a football field that Suggs hasn't experienced, and he is a master at anticipating what the offense will do before the ball is snapped.

Suggs has already won a Super Bowl. He has won a Defensive Player of the Year Award. He has been named to the Pro Bowl seven times. But having not been to the playoffs since 2014, Suggs wants to make sure that Sunday's game ends with the Ravens on top, instead of another heartbreaking defeat.

"We kind of just want to get it done," Suggs said. "Only the worthy will reach the grail."

When the Ravens were 4-5 during their bye week, this season did not have a special feel to it. Now it does. With so much on the line Sunday, Suggs is content to let others talk about his latest milestone, or how his offseason may unfold. Nobody has played more games as a Raven than Suggs, but he is determined to play at least a few more, starting with winning a division title Sunday.

"That would be great, considering that we haven't won the division in some time now," Suggs said. "It'd be good to get another banner up there."

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