Late For Work 6/6: How Terrell Suggs Was Hurt Is Irrelevant

Best part of triple-crown run? … meeting Harbs. Free agents that would make sense in Baltimore.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at 9:14 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

How Terrell Suggs Was Hurt Is Irrelevant

Do you know where this Ravenized basketball court is located?

That’s right, the Ravens’ team headquarters in Owings Mills, Md., adjacent to the indoor practice field.

Ravens athletes often play basketball. Even Torrey Smith dunked a few times in a charity basketball game with several teammates last April.

Soooo, so what if Terrell Suggs was injured during a conditioning drill or while playing basketball, asks the Baltimore Sun?

The Ravens certainly don’t seem to care.

Yet the issue persists this week as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported yesterday, for the second time, that Suggs tore his Achilles tendon while playing basketball. Suggs already denied the original reports, and after Schefter found two employees from the gym in Arizona to say that Suggs was hurt playing in a tournament (they aren’t exactly sure what he hurt though), the 10-year veteran still denies it.

Team officials’ response to Schefter’s second report?

Our only concern is getting our players ready for the season and that includes working with players who are currently injured,” a team spokesman wrote to Jamison Hensley via email.

In other words, they have moved on and so should everyone else.

Multiple outlets have reported that the Ravens will not dock Suggs’ pay, regardless of how he was hurt, even though they have the right to.

That makes all this a non-story and “petty gossip,” as Suggs told The Sun earlier this week.

The nature of his injury is “irrelevant,” it “doesn’t much matter” and it “doesn’t make a difference” because the Ravens don’t care, say WBAL’s Gerry Sandusky, PFT.com’s Josh Alper and NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, respectively.

“[Basketball is] not an irresponsible activity like riding a motorcycle or extreme skiing,” Sandusky added.

To criticize the reigning Defensive Player of the Year for playing basketball would be hypocritical, argues The Sun’s Matt Vensel.

“If Suggs changes his tune about the origin of his injury, he should only be criticized for lying,” he wrote. “The guy was ripped for being out of shape after getting his big contract in 2009. He responded by using basketball as a way to stay in shape the past two offseasons and made back-to-back Pro Bowls for the first time. It would be hypocritical to hammer him for getting hurt while working out away from the team, no matter how he did it.”

Because the Ravens and Suggs have made this a non-issue, the topic will likely persist only for those who feel they deserve to know the truth. Hensley believes that Suggs should just “come clean” about it all. But maybe he already has. Maybe he is telling the truth and really did injure his tendon during a conditioning test.

Either way, the truth is for Suggs and the Ravens to know, says 105.7 The Fan’s Rob Long, who believes the two sides already do.

“If Suggs really did injure himself while playing basketball, it is VERY important that the Ravens know, but not important that you and I do,” Long wrote. “Knowing how this organization is, I believe they know the truth about it. The truth is, it really doesn’t matter. Just get on the field and make it a non-story. It goes in the category of something that fans don’t NEED to know.”

Best Part Of Triple Crown Run? Lunch With Harbs

I’ll Have Another is on the cusp of becoming the first horse since 1978 to sweep the Triple Crown. He will try to accomplish the amazing feat in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

His trainer, Doug O’Neill, was asked what his “biggest kick” has been since winning the Derby and Preakness, and his answer had nothing to do with the thrill of possibly creating history.

Instead, it had to do with meeting our own Coach Harbaugh.

“I think hanging out and having lunch with coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens,” O’Neill told the Times Union. 

“He is the coolest guy in the world. I have met so many people who love horses and love the game. With coach Harbaugh, I was so badly wanting to ask him more about football and I could tell he was interested about horse racing. I talked horses with him a lot. It’s amazing how many people you meet who are curious about the game who only hear the negative side of it.”

Free Agents That’d Make Sense In Baltimore

The Ravens have a history of bringing in free agents late in the offseason, even during training camp or shortly before the regular season begins.

Recent examples include wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh (2010) and left tackle Bryant McKinnie (2011).

ProFootballTalk.com named its top 10 free agents still on the market, and CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg evaluated whether each would be a good fit in Baltimore.

He immediately eliminated six players, including tackle Marcus McNeill, receiver Braylon Edwards, defensive Aubrayo Franklin, tackle Max Starks, safety O.J. Atogwe and linebacker Gary Brackett.

Eisenberg could see a potential marriage with four free agents and his explanations are listed below:

Running back Cedric Benson: “He is 29 and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in Cincinnati last season, but his miniscule yards-per-carry and off-field baggage apparently have scared off suitors. He could be a nice fit with the Ravens if their unproven options for a No. 2 runner (Bernard Pierce, Anthony Allen, Damien Berry) don’t pan out.”

Defensive ends Matt Roth and Andre Carter: “Roth, who can switch to LB, could provide versatile veteran depth for a team trying to compensate for Terrell Suggs’ injury. He has concussion issues but also 11 sacks in his last 27 games. Carter, 33, had 11 sacks for the Patriots last year but is coming off a torn quad.”

Cornerback Drew Coleman: “The Jaguars surprisingly cut this playmaking pass defender who totaled six sacks, three interceptions and eight forced fumbles over the past two seasons. The Ravens are deep in the secondary but could add quality depth if they don’t like what they see from their young guys.”

Rice Could Have Two Franchise Tag Years

Not only could running back Ray Rice have to settle for the franchise tag this year, he may have to do it again in 2013, says CBSSports.com’s Pat Kirwan.

The columnist believes it makes financial sense for the Ravens to tag him twice because the grand total for doing so would be $16.9 million, which is a lot cheaper than the $25 million or the $24 million the Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams and Texans’ Arian Foster will get in their first two years, respectively.

Kirwan added that Rice reportedly is looking for more than what those two running backs got, hoping for something closer to what the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson or the Titans’ Chris Johnson received.

“I doubt any team in the next 10 years will give a running back a deal with a $13 million average over the first three years like Peterson ($13.76M) or Johnson ($14.99M),” Kirwan wrote.

Quick Hits

  • A year ago, receiver LaQuan Williams almost enlisted in the military before the Ravens called and invited him to try out as a rookie free agent. [CBSSports.com]
  • Tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta will always be linked to their counterparts – Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez – in New England, but they aren’t shying away from comparisons. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • The AFC North is in the middle of the pack in popularity, but mostly because the Steelers are very popular, while the rest of the division is not. In an ESPN Sports Poll of fans’ favorite teams, the Ravens ranked 23rd of 32 teams while the Steelers were third, the Browns 22nd and the Bengals 30th. [ESPN]
  • Ravens former Head Coach Brian Billick and Mike Shanahan teamed up to help host a football camp dedicated to kids with Down Syndrome. [CSNBaltimore.com]

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