In an expedited recovery that’s in no way at all whatsoever motivated by the injuries to Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, Terrell Suggs is “targeting and expecting” to play this week when the Ravens travel to Houston.
He’s planning this Herculean comeback from a torn Achilles in April despite the fact that a mid-November return has been the widely projected earliest possible date that we’d see a maniacal Suggs on a football field again, frothing and hurting people. And despite the fact that his first practice after returning from said injury was, well, yesterday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the entire Suggs clan — or at least a sizable chunk of it — is traveling to Houston to witness the culmination of his accelerated comeback. Share your gospel with us, Scheft:
Sources said that even Suggs’ family and friends have plans to travel to Houston in anticipation of watching him stage one of the quickest returns from this type of significant injury that any athlete ever has. “Yes, that’s still the plan,” one source texted today. Baltimore still wants to make sure there are no setbacks this week, especially today, when Suggs returns to the training facility after his first day of practice since last season. Plus, Suggs appears to have added weight during his layoff that he may try to shed in coming weeks.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has declined to say anything regarding a potential timetable, which is in line with the football code. While this will be celebrated, forgive me for being hesitant to paint Suggs a hero. At the same time that recently retired players are going public with their decaying health even though they’re only several years removed from the game, the current players are still often showing a willful disregard for their long-term well being, whether it’s Suggs, or Calvin Johnson saying last week that playing through a concussion is just something that good football bros do. They can’t have it both ways.
But hey, whatever I guess. I’ll dismount my high horse that sits atop a soap box, and just enjoy Suggs returning and smashing the mucus out of dudes, because as a fan that’s all I really care about.
From a fantasy perspective, a healthy Suggs is clearly less than ideal for opposing quarterbacks, as he’ll quickly restore the menacing quality of a pass rush that’s turned to mush this year, averaging only 1.6 sacks per game (10 overall), after moving along at a pace of three per game last year (48 overall). The Steelers still play their division rivals twice in the second half of the season, and last year over their two meetings the Ravens sacked Ben Roethlisbeger five times for a total loss of 42 yards. What’s worse is that Big Ben lost five fumbles last year, and two of those came in Week 1 during his repeated Ravens battering.
So be worried, Roethlisberger owners. You too, giddy Robert Griffin III owners, because although he’s kind of quick and can avoid a rush, that hasn’t stopped RG3 from being throttled regularly, and flirting with his first missed game due to a concussion in just Week 6 of his first season. Washington hosts Baltimore in Week 14 — the first week of the fantasy playoffs in many leagues — and back in Week 3 against the Bengals we saw what happens when Griffin faces an elite pass rush.
With 20 sacks through six games, Cincinnati is second overall in the category that measures quarterback hurt. During that Week 3 game, Griffin was sacked five times, and he fumbled three times. For some perspective on how much of a wreck that games was compared to his other brilliance, if we exclude it then Griffin has only been sacked seven times, with two fumbles.
Can one man make that much of a difference? Well, if that one man is
crazy healthy enough to make a stupid fast return from a debilitating injury after he had 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles last year, then the answer that question is a really confident probably.
UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson has a source who basically scoffed at Schefter’s report, saying that Suggs isn’t playing this week, and the team would be “shocked” if he does suit up. NFL Network’s Albert Breer has a similar report, citing a source who says Suggs has no idea when he’ll be ready for game action. So good, we’re done with that then, right?
And now the links part of the links post…
- Hey, Percy Harvin owners, would you like to read lots of nice words about your draft day bargain wideout? [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- It appears likely that Ahmad Bradshaw will return to practice today, and he’ll be just fine. But if he experiences a setback, we’ll get the Andre Brown show again this weekend. Well, sort of, as he’d split time with the de-doghoused David Wilson. [New York Daily News]
- Stop crying, Jimmy Graham owners, and make other plans this week. There isn’t much optimism around your tight end’s playing status. [Evan Silva on Twitter
- It's time for one last look back at Week 6 before Week 7 begins tonight with the all important target breakdown. [The Fake Football]