When it was announced last week that Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs would be coming off the PUP List and practicing with the team, people were impressed but realistically never expected him to even play in the game against the Houston Texans, much less impress like he did. After suffering an Achilles Tendon injury that required surgery, the typical recovery period looked to be long enough that Suggs might not play in 2012, but certainly not before late November at the earliest.
Even when the news broke that Suggs would be active for the Texans game, there still was a question of whether he would play much, if at all. Why risk it, they said, with a bye next week and then the Cleveland Browns in week nine? Be safe and make sure Terrell was healthy, rested and in good football shape for the latter part of the season rather than force him into service in such a tough game so soon.
Suggs showed us that while many think they know it all, only he and the team truly knew his readiness for live action. Not only did Suggs play, he made an immediate impact and was arguably the best defensive player on the Ravens side in a game where it was hard to find anything positive to say about the team's 43-13 beating.
Suggs was not a full-time player like he normally is, yet still finished with four total tackles, one sack, one tackle-for-loss, one pass defensed and two quarterback hits. Unfortunately, even a Superman-like performance by the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year would come anywhere close enough to helping the team overcome the losses of Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb last week and Haloti Ngata this week.
However, there has to be reason to be encouraged about the future in something out of the humbling defeat. While it obviously was not alone enough to make a difference this week in a game that was known to be a tough one even when the schedule came out months ago, it should definitely make a difference as the season progresses.