Suggs suffers partial tear in Achilles tendon

Is it possible to “ball too hard?”

Terrell Suggs found out the hard way that, indeed, it is.

The Ravens linebacker and reigningNFL Defensive Player of the Year revealed Thursday that he partially tore his Achilles tendon while training in Arizona. Suggs is expected to miss the entire 2012 season, but the ferocious and always-talkative pass rusher vowed he will return at some point midseason.

“I love how you guys are saying ‘out for the season,’” Suggs said, according to Yahoo Sports. “Just gonna make my comeback that much bigger.”

His potential comeback won’t be bigger than the loss his absence will have on the Ravens defense. Suggs was coming off his best pro season in which he registered 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles, anchoring a defensive unit that helped the Ravens advance to the AFC championship.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Suggs suffered the injury while playing basketball, but Suggs reportedly told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that the injury came during a conditioning drill Saturday. He was working out at his old high school in Chandler, Ariz., and said he started and stopped and felt something turn, so he called his trainer to get an exam.

At least for now, it’s unclear who will replace Suggs at the linebacker position, particularly to start the season. The Ravens picked University of Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw in the second round of last week’s draft, but while the talent and potential for greatness is there, it’s unlikely a rookie will be able to step right in and provide the production and overall reputation Suggs has established in the league.

This is certainly the story of the offseason for Ravens fans and one that will have plenty of developments as training camp draws nearer. For now, however, Suggs is on the sidelines and the Ravens defense just got a whole lot more pedestrian.