|Harbaugh and Reed think Suggs will be back in 2012. (Getty Images)|
Terrell Suggs, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, recently tore his Achilles tendon while training for the upcoming season. And while we won't know the extent of the injury until next week, it could mean the difference between missing a few weeks and missing 2012 entirely.
Suggs vows to be back by November, although league sources told CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that despite remaining upbeat publicly, the Ravens are privately preparing for the worst. Luckily, the team selected defensive end/linebacker Courtney Upshaw in the second round of last week's draft.
But on Friday, head coach John Harbaugh sounded optimistic about Suggs' return to the field.
"He will be okay, Terrell Suggs will be fine. He will be back," Harbaugh told Baltimore's WJZ-TV. "He will go to work on that rehab like no other. He will continue to be a huge part of what we are doing, continue to be a leader and then the young guys will step up. They will step forward, and you are a football team first, you are a team, team is not one guy."
Veteran safety Ed Reed sounded a similar tone, calling the injury a major setback with the full understanding that Suggs is capable of returning next season.
“It definitely takes a team to win, so no one guy is more important than the team,” Reed said during a Friday appearance on 105.7 The Fan. “I know Terrell. He's a young guy, so he's definitely got that on his side. He's going to have to rehab. I was going to call him today and let him know that. The most important thing is going to be how he attacks his rehab.”
The Ravens lost Jarret Johnson to the Chargers in free agency, a move that necessitated drafting Upshaw. Ideally, Upshaw would get the chance to earn the job on the opposite side of Suggs, giving Baltimore yet another formidable pass-rushing duo.
“We know what Terrell Suggs brings to the table, the fear that he puts in quarterbacks' heads," Reed said. "So he's definitely going to be missed. But even when I was out, you had guys step up. The organization does a great job of bringing guys in there.”
If Suggs isn't ready, the Ravens could turn to Paul Kruger, Sergio Kindle, or maybe even Michael McAdoo.
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