The Baltimore Ravens suffered a major blow with some stunning injury news concerning one of the team’s cornerstone pieces.
Terrell Suggs, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tore his Achilles tendon working out in Arizona, and he’s expected to miss the entire 2012 season as he’ll most likely require surgery to repair the damage, according to Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times.
Apparently, Suggs, 29, suffered the injury Saturday, just one day after the Ravens selected University of Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw with their top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. At Alabama, Upshaw filled the role that Suggs has held down since entering the league with the Ravens in 2003.
Suggs will visit foot specialist, Dr. Robert Anderson, in North Carolina on Tuesday, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.
The Ravens are hopeful that Suggs suffered only a partial tear to the tendon and won’t require surgery, which may cost him only half the season.
However, if Suggs is out for the year, it would be a devastating blow to the league’s No. 3 ranked defense from a year ago.
In any case, the Ravens need to begin preparing themselves for what could be the inevitable: playing part or all of the 2012 season without one of the blue-chip pieces of this franchise.
The Ravens were relying on Upshaw or fourth-year veteran Paul Kruger to fill the void left by the team’s other starting outside linebacker from a season ago, Jarret Johnson, who signed a four-year deal with the San Diego Chargers in March. Now, the Ravens are presented with the challenge of replacing both of their outside linebacker’s from last year’s team, while trying to remain one of the league’s premier defenses.
Last season, Suggs led the Ravens with a career-high 14 sacks and a forced a franchise-record seven fumbles.
He is the Ravens’ all-time leader in sacks with 82.5 and forced fumbles with 29.
Suggs has proven to be one of the most durable and reliable players in the league, having missed just three games during his nine-year career.