Week one of the 2015 National League football season is in the books now and it’s time for some teams to lick its wounds and count its injuries. After a tough loss 19-13 in a low scoring affair against the Denver Broncos, the Baltimore Ravens are among the teams that got hit with a relevant injury.
Late in the game during a fierce defensive struggle, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs felt the pop and knew immediately he was in trouble as well as pain. As it turns out, he had torn left Achilles tendon. This isn’t an injury players recover from quickly, so it was later announced he would miss the remainder of the season.
While they will certainly miss his play on the field, it’s the leadership he brings to that prideful defense that will be missed the most. Over the years, the Ravens’ defense has developed a reputation for flying after the ball with reckless abandon, creating havoc for opposing offensive players. While maybe not as talented as future Hall of Fame middle linebacker Ray Lewis, he was certainly cut from the same mold with the intensity he brought onto the field with him every time he played the game of football.
It is possible age was catching up with Suggs after a slow start to the 2014 season. In the second half of the season, he pulled it together, ending the season with 61 tackles and 12 sacks, not bad for a man playing in his 12th year. It’s that kind of sheer will that has kept him in Baltimore for his entire career, making him a fan favorite.
Suggs played his college ball at Arizona State University where he was unanimously voted to the 2002 All-American Team – First Team. He was also the recipient of every major award that a defensive player could win, including the Ted Hendricks Award, Vince Lombardi Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. He was selected in the first round with the 10th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Ravens at a time when the team was focusing on building the kind of defense that would put fear in the heart of NFL quarterbacks. To that end, they were successful thanks to players like Terrell Suggs.
In his rookie season, he only had 27 tackles, but 12 of them were sacks. It was enough to see him named “AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.” The following season, he was named to the first of six pro-bowl team with 60 tackles and 10.5 sacks. After several more seasons playing at that same level, it was clear the Ravens had another star on defense.
In 2011, Suggs would have the kind of season most defensive players can only dream about. After accumulating 70 tackles, 14 sacks and 2 interceptions, he was named both the “AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year” and the “AFC Defensive Player of the Year.” He was also named to the first team All-Pro squad for the only time in his career.
The 2012 season ended up being bitter-sweet. After missing half of the season due to injury, the team would go on to win Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. By the time the 2014 season was over, Suggs stood alone as the all-time sack leader for the Ravens with 106.5, joining the elite 100 sack club.
It was originally thought Suggs would retire at the end of the 2015 season. Considering the kind of man and player he has become, he might decide to come back for the 2016 season in an effort to leave the game on his own terms as he continues his mark to join Lewis in the NFL Hall of Fame.
This article was written by Tony Samboras who is a sports writer and analyst with a passion for football. Tony has an avid knowledge of sports betting strategies and is a contributor of sport betting knowledge for www.simplythebetsus.com