On Wednesday, Terrell Suggs spoke with the media for the first time since being diagnosed with torn right biceps suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Steelers.
It is the Ravens linebacker’s second major injury in less than a year, but this time, he plans to try to play through it.
Whether that means Suggs will play Sunday at the Washington Redskins isn’t yet known.
“We have to see how it goes. You all pretty much know who have been around here for some time, the creed is, ‘If you can breathe, then you can play,’” Suggs told reporters. “We just have to check it out and see how it holds up throughout the week. It will definitely be a game-time decision on Sunday.”
But if he isn’t able to play Sunday, would Suggs consider shutting himself down for the season to get healthy for next year?
“No,” he said. “That’s not an option for me. ... Hopefully, I can play. I really believe if everything (works) out with how I am feeling, and we do a good job throughout the week, I will be lining up. If not, then I miss the Washington game and hopefully I can be back for the Denver one.
“I think definitely I will continue to line up at some point this season. It all depends on when it starts to get better and how much I can really do with it.”
Suggs, known as one of the toughest players on the team if not in the league, said he isn’t worried as much about playing through pain as he is concerned about whether he “would help or hinder the team by playing.”
“I don’t want to be out there and can’t make a play because I am unhealthy and I don’t have a full biceps,” he told reporters. “It’s more if I will help us, like I said, or hinder us by playing. That’s pretty much what I’m going to base my decision on.”
How will he gauge that, however?
“You just have to find your limit,” Suggs said. “You have to find out what you can do and what you can’t do. Like I said, right now, I would tell you I feel good and I was definitely playing. It’s not always the case on a Sunday. You have to know what exactly it is you can do.”
The initial diagnosis for Suggs was a torn biceps, an injury that could sideline a player long-term depending on the specifics of the tear. He received a second opinion and Suggs said it didn’t provide anything new.
“The second opinion pretty much said what we already knew and just gave me the options,” Suggs told reporters. “It pretty much just gave me a firm understanding of what I was dealing with.”
Suggs said he isn’t concerned about making the injury worse. But can his biceps heal as the season progresses?
“That’s what I have been told,” Suggs said. “I have been told a couple of guys in the NFL are playing with torn biceps and that it may get better, it may not. You may need surgery, you may not. I don’t really know. Like I said, we’re going to go over it and decide what’s best to do for the team and myself.”
As for the mental side of things, it would be understandable if Suggs was pretty down after getting hurt again, after working so hard to return quickly from a torn Achilles tendon.
But Suggs told reporters he isn’t feeling low.
“I’m not in bad spirits at all. I’m not thinking about it,” he said. “If I can play with it, we’re going to do whatever we can to protect it just so I don’t injure it anymore. I’m in really good spirits about it, so I’m not really beat down about it.”
Suggs’ teammates feel for him, however.
“It’s crazy,” quarterback Joe Flacco told reporters. “He’s done such a great job in getting himself to the point where he could come back and be a help to our team, and then to have something like that happen, you kind of take for granted how fortunate we are to go out there and play every week. I haven’t experienced it, but it’s got to be a tough thing to want to go out there and be part of the team and help the team and just not be able to. So if that’s what the case is, then yeah, I feel a little bit for him.”