(Updated: 3:15 p.m.)
More than four months before the start of the 2012 regular season, the Ravens received a potentially crippling blow to their Super Bowl hopes with the news that 2011 Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs has suffered a torn Achilles tendon.
Multiple reports are saying the 2011 AP Defensive Player of the Year will miss the entire season due to the injury.
There are conflicting reports on the cause of the injury as the Pro Bowl linebacker says he sustained the injury while performing a conditioning test on Saturday, but others suggest the injury occurred while Suggs was playing basketball in Arizona.
The Ravens informed WNST.net their team doctors have yet to see Suggs, but he will see a specialist on Tuesday. He is currently wearing a boot on his foot, and Suggs said he will have a procedure to address the tear next week.
“We are in contact with Terrell,” the organization said in an official statement. “He will see a specialist early next week, and we’ll know more at that time.”
Despite reports of Suggs missing the entire season, the 29-year-old is aiming for a midseason return.
“[It's] usually six months, but [the tear is] high by the calf, so it’s like four to six months,” Suggs said in a text message to WNST.net. “Tell Charm City I’ll be running out [of] the tunnel in mid-October [or] November.”
Sports Illustrated injury analyst Will Carroll told WNST.net a slight Grade 1 tear to the Achilles tendon potentially could be rehabbed in three to four months. Attempting to rehab a moderate Grade 2 tear without surgery becomes very risky in trusting the tendon will not snap. A severe or complete tear would obviously require surgery, which typically takes eight to 12 months of recovery time.
A source told Drew Forrester of WNST.net reported Suggs could be subject to a $250,000 fine – as part of his contract — if he were playing basketball without the team’s approval.
The Ravens will likely turn to second-round draft choice Courtney Upshaw to assume Suggs’ position at rush linebacker to begin the season.
The Alabama product played at the spot for the Crimson Tide’s national championship defense and had been expected to compete with fourth-year linebacker Paul Kruger at the strong-side linebacker position. That spot was previously held by veteran Jarret Johnson, who signed a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers back in Marsh.
In his nine-year career, Suggs has missed only three games, which came as a result of a knee injury in 2009.