The torn biceps injury to Baltimore Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs is awaiting a second opinion to see if he can play with it, but has he really made a difference since his return from Achilles Tendon surgery?
If you purely look at his statistics since returning in week seven for the 44-13 loss to the Houston Texans, you might quickly reply that his contributions have been minimal. In his six games, Suggs has 19 tackles and two sacks, certainly not numbers reminiscing of his 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
There is the possibility and even the probability that the lingering effects of his surgery,which had some saying that he would miss the entire 2012 season, could be part of the reason for his average statistics. However, more likely the reason is the opposing offense's attention to his presence.
Regardless of the printed numbers next to his name, T-Sizzle is having a noticeable effect on the field. It may not be resulting in tackles or sacks for him, but the ripple effect on the other Ravens on the field is clearly evident, especially for one players.
Prior to Suggs' return, OLB Paul Kruger was having what would be fair to call a "pedestrian" season, virtually watching the game move all around him without actually taking part in it. Before Terrell's return in game seven, Kruger totalled 14tackles and 1.5 QB sacks. Since Suggs came back, Kruger has seen his production skyrocket.In these most recent six games, Kruger has 18 tackles and five sacks.
With four games remaining on the Ravens 2012 regular season schedule,Kruger already has more than twice as many tackles and one more sack than he did in a part-time role in his 2011 season. While you can't compare his 2011 to his 2012 season due to the increase in playing time, it's fair to say he has made noticeable progress since Suggs' returned to the other side of the defensive front to take attention off of him.
Kruger might not be a star in his own right, as evidenced by his lackluster performance without Suggs on the field, but the difference is proof positive that Suggs is making a huge difference regardless of his own personal numbers. If Suggs is unable to finish out the season due to this most recent injury,the results could be a huge step backwards for both Kruger and the rest of the Ravens defense.