Suggs, Ravens keep everybody guessing

October 19, 2012|By Peter Schmuck | By Peter Schmuck

It's okay to don your Terrell Suggs jersey for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans, but don't be disappointed when all of his face time on TV is spent on the sidelines. He's not going to play and he never was, but there probably is some method to the seeming madness of an indication that he might.

The Ravens can say all they want that they seriously doubt Suggs will play, but I'm guessing that the coy indication that he could get into the game isn't just the usual overly optimistic projection of an injured player who is aching to get back in action.

Suggs is such a force when he's on the field that the Texans will have to deal with the slim possibility that he will play and gameplan accordingly. In the NFL, anything that adds to the midweek workload of the opposition is considered valuable, so it would be no surprise if this was not just cooked up in the strange and wonderful mind of T-Sizzle or some other interested party.

The reality is this: There's no good reason to send him into Sunday's game not fully rehabbed from his Achilles injury. No position in football puts more strain on the feet and ankles as the linebacker position, which requires the player to explode from a standing start in any variety of directions and angles and make tackles in every conceivable manner.

I've got a little more insight into this particular injury because I've suffered a total Achilles rupture playing basketball. The recovery and rehab time is about six months, but that's for a person who just wants to walk the dog and go jogging every day. I could get through a buffet line just fine after six months, but the demands of the NFL linebacker position are so great that even a special athlete like Suggs needs to proceed with some caution.

If he actually feels like he's ready to go, he probably should keep rehabbing for another month, which would put him back on the field at just about the time projected from when he suffered the injury. If he feels terrific right now, the least he should do is take advantage of the upcoming bye week to work his way back through an extended practice period.

The break after the Houston game is the main reason I don't believe there was every any chance of him playing on Sunday. Even with the injuries that have knocked fellow defensive stars Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb out for the season, there is no rational reason to take any risk with Suggs right now.

The Ravens have piled up a few acorns in heaven. They certainly would love to knock off the Texans for tie-breaker reasons, but they have enough cushion in the AFC North standings to afford what the oddsmakers say will be a loss whether a limited Suggs plays or not.

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