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Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs has reportedly torn his Achilles tendon.
The severity of the injury is not known at this time and the Ravens have not confirmed that there was a tear to the tendon. They are waiting to hear more news from doctors.
“We are in contact with Terrell. He will see a specialist early next week, and we’ll know more at that time,” the team said in a statement.
While first reports indicated that Suggs would likely miss the year, the outside linebacker is saying otherwise. Suggs believes he will return this season.
“Absolutely,” Suggs told The Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson. “Middle to end of October. Definitely beginning of November.”
Suggs’ injury was first reportedy by 105.7 The Fan’s Vinny Cerrato, who said it came while he was playing basketball. However, Suggs has refuted that report in text messages to the media.
“We do a conditioning test every year, and I was practicing it,” Suggs told the Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson. “I went to stop and turn and I thought I sprained it. Went to doc and [they] said it’s a partial tear.”
Suggs will see a foot specialist, Dr. Robert Anderson, in North Carolina on Tuesday. He suffered the injury on Saturday, the day after Baltimore drafted outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, according to The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec.
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome told ESPN that the team found out about the injury on Monday.
Suggs went to his second straight Pro Bowl last year and has become the focal point of Baltimore’s elite defense. He sets the edge against the run and is also the team’s top pass rusher.
The 10-year veteran, who has missed just three games during his career (knee injury in 2009), recorded a career-high 14 sacks and 70 tackles last season. He forced seven fumbles and notched two interceptions.
The Ravens could use Upshaw to replace Suggs. Upshaw played Suggs’ position in Alabama’s national championship defense last year. He plays a similar style of physical football, able to stuff the run and get after quarterbacks.
Upshaw took to Twitter to respond to the Suggs news.
“I keep [getting] these ‘it’s time to man up‘ tweets,” Upshaw tweeted. “I mean it’s the NFL…with T. Sizzle healthy I [would] have to man up its big boy ball…
“I’m a grown man plus I’m so motivated!”
Paul Kruger would likely be the player charged with manning the other outside linebacker position vacated by Jarrett Johnson. He also could be charged as Suggs’ replacement considering he has backed him up in years past.