Making his long-awaited return to the practice field on Wednesday, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is apparently expecting to play against the Houston Texans on Sunday.
A Thursday morning report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggests the 30-year-old linebacker is targeting Sunday as his first game back after suffering a partially-torn Achilles tendon in late April. Suggs remains on the physically unable to perform list but has begun the 21-day period in which he’s allowed to practice before the Ravens must place him on the 53-man roster. He can be placed on the active roster at any point prior to the end of the three-week period.
Schefter’s report suggests Suggs has added weight and the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year did appear heavier in his first time in pads since the AFC Championship game in January.
Most reports and sources have suggested a Suggs return at some point in November, but Suggs reportedly has family and friends planning to travel to Houston as the Ravens take on the Texans in a battle between the top two teams in the AFC. Schefter’s report — more specifically, the source — would appear to be coming more so from Suggs’ camp, so it doesn’t mean the Ravens are truly on board with the idea and are expecting him to suit up in Week 7.
Even if Suggs’ surgically-repaired Achilles tendon is 100 percent, the idea of him playing in a game this soon seems very unwise. Coach John Harbaugh has tried to temper expectations at a few points over the last couple months, reminding us Suggs will need time to get into “football shape” before being ready to play in games.
Of course, the Ravens don’t want Suggs to suffer a setback with the rehabbed injury, but there are also concerns of other injuries — hamstring strains, for example — that can occur when you’re not in optimum shape to play in an NFL game.
With only a maximum of three practices in which Suggs could participate prior to Sunday’s game, it seems unlikely he’d be ready to play Sunday.
With Suggs not yet on the 53-man roster, the Ravens do not have to include him on the injury report, meaning some gamesmanship could also be at work here with the thought of keeping Houston coach Gary Kubiak guessing if the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker might be ready to play on Sunday.
Suggs is scheduled to talk with reporters in Owings Mills on Thursday, and this latest report figures to be a hot topic of discussion.