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John Harbaugh: Ravens Defense Can Withstand Loss

Doctors confirm to Ravens that Terrell Suggs should be able to return this fall.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Sunday, May 13th, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Just because its reigning Defensive Player of the Year suffered an Achilles injury doesn’t mean the vaunted Ravens defense is packing its bags.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked if his defense, which ranked third overall last year, could withstand the loss.

“Of course,” he said, as if it wasn’t a question. “It’s obvious.”

“We’re a team. That’s why you draft guys and bring guys in. It’s never about one guy, ever. I know Terrell said that and all of our guys said that.”

Harbaugh pointed to the past, when the Ravens lost two of its future Hall of Famers and still fared well.

Last year, Baltimore was without inside linebacker Ray Lewis for four games against Cincinnati, San Francisco, Cleveland and Indianapolis. The Ravens won all of them.

In 2010, the Ravens began the season with safety Ed Reed on the physically unable to perform list for six games. They went 4-2 with Tom Zbikowski filling in, and still were among the league leaders in pass defense during that span.

“We’ve handled losses of our biggest stars,” Harbaugh said. “It will be up to all of us to do a little bit better, and we intend to improve in anything we do including our defense.”

After coming out of surgery last week, Suggs predicted that he’ll miss four to six months, which would put him back on the field at the start of November at the latest. Based on that span, he could miss zero to seven games.

The doctors back up his prediction, Harbaugh said.

“Everything that we’ve heard from the doctors would be consistent with that,” he said. “Everything Terrell has said about it, from my understanding, has been right on. It’s just going to depend on the injury, the healing process and his effort and his work.”

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