Speaking for the first time about Terrell Suggs' injury, Ravens coach John Harbaugh offered no timetable on the return of the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, but he stressed the team won't dwell on the loss.
Suggs told ESPN that he partially tore his Achilles tendon during a conditioning drill in Arizona, but believes he can return by the middle of the 2012 season.
"He will be okay, Terrell Suggs will be fine. He will be back," Harbaugh told a local Baltimore television station Friday, via the Baltimore Sun. "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."
It will likely take a team of players to replace the production of Suggs, a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker who has the fourth-most sacks (30) in the NFL since 2010.
Suggs seemed defiant when telling reporters Thursday that he would come back this season. Harbaugh, though, painted a different picture of Suggs after his injury.
"My heart went out to Terrell because he was so down about it, it was so hard for him to actually spit out what had happened," Harbaugh said. "He didn’t want to tell me because he felt so bad about it. Once we got past that, then I felt bad about it. Once I got past feeling bad about how he felt bad about it, then I felt bad about it. We are going to be fine. I got a chance to talk to Ray [Lewis, Ravens linebacker] and a lot of the players and you move forward, that’s what it’s all about, you just move forward and the next guy steps in."