HOUSTON, Texas – The Terrell Suggs shockers just keep on coming.
First, it was that the star Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker had returned to practice last week.
Then, that he'd made the trip here on Saturday, and was added to the club’s active roster.
Then, late Sunday morning, that he’d actually suit up -- and maybe even play a bit against the Houston Texans.
Then, that he'd actually start.
Finally, that he’d wind up being perhaps the best Baltimore Ravens defender in a 43-13 loss.
Suggs, the NFL’s defensive MVP last season, tore his right Achilles in April, had surgery in early May and was written off by everyone as having any chance of playing again until next year. He swore he’d return this season, though.
And he did.
In the first half, Suggs had a sack and an additional hit on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, plus he broke up one of Schaub's passes. Suggs also made a couple of important tackles, all before the game slipped away from the Ravens late in the first half.
“Of course I wanted to come back for a win,” Suggs said, “but I felt that if (the Achilles) was good on Saturday, then I would go.
“I had to come back this game against a good team, because we all know how important those games in November and December are, and I didn’t want to try to be still knocking the rust off.”
Suggs said he felt “good” afterward.
“It looked to me like he played really well,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said.
Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown said it was “amazing” to see Suggs bounce back so fast from such an injury.
“I have to tip my hat off to him,” Brown said. “He came out there and looked like he didn’t miss a beat. He’s still quick, strong, fast and still very instinctive … That was a heck of an effort.”
Wide receiver Torrey Smith said there was no mistaking the return of the Ravens’ brash defender.
“(The) first way you know he’s here is when you hear him in the locker room,” Smith said. “He’s the loudest person everywhere he goes, so we’re definitely happy to have him back, and to see him make some plays, even though he’s still working back in it.”
With last week’s loss for the year of star inside linebacker Ray Lewis (torn triceps) and top cornerback Lardarius Webb (torn ACL), and with a host of other injuries to the Ravens defenders heading into the bye week, Suggs actually might be the healthiest of the bunch.