OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Terrell Suggs didn't rush his return from a torn right Achilles tendon just to prove he has remarkable recuperative powers.
No, the Baltimore Ravens linebacker pushed himself through the rehabilitative process because he wanted to help the team win. And in that regard, Suggs emerged from his first game back with a feeling of disappointment.
Only 5½ months removed from surgery, Suggs made his season debut on Oct. 21 against the Houston Texans. He had four tackles, a sack and batted away a pass in a 43-13 defeat.
It was a heroic performance under the circumstances, one that created a buzz around the NFL.
But Suggs wasn't all that interested.
"The crazy, ironic thing is that only people I really listen to is you guys, and I don't really listen to you all that much," Suggs told the Baltimore media on Wednesday. "I wasn't really paying attention around the league. I was really still kind of bitter that we lost.
"The thing is, we said I was going to come back this year and we came back. You guys shouldn't have been shocked by it. Like I said, the only disappointing thing was I didn't come back in a winning effort. I pretty much didn't listen to what everybody else said for the simple fact that we lost the game and we had a chance to be No. 1 in the AFC and we didn't do that."
Suggs and the Ravens (5-2) got a bye week to recover from that lopsided loss, and now they've turned their attention toward defeating Cleveland (2-6) on Sunday.
Although Suggs dismisses his rapid return as anything but extraordinary, his teammates are astonished that he bounced back from a major injury so soon. Some athletes need a year to rebound from a torn Achilles, yet Suggs missed only seven games.
"It's crazy," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "He talked about coming back, and I believed him. But at the same time, there's always a little bit of me or probably all of us that said, 'OK, he's talking himself into coming back, but how quickly is he going to be able to?' So, the fact that he was able to get back out there and play as many snaps and play as well as he did is pretty impressive and obviously says a lot about who he is."
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