OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Terrell Suggs is sticking with his story.
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, speaking at the Baltimore Ravens’ team facility for the first time since tearing his right Achilles, reiterated his version of how he injured himself. Suggs once again said the tear occurred while practicing the conditioning test each player has to pass before training camp.
On June 6, a report surfaced that an Arizona gymnasium director saw Suggs tear his Achilles during a basketball tournament. Suggs said he saw the report scroll across a television screen while in the middle of a rehab session.
“You know me, I don’t hold back or hide from anybody,” Suggs said. “I wanted to fire back and get into the whole facts, the he-said-she said. But then I’d be giving them exactly what they want.”
Some teams frown upon players participating in basketball games during the offseason. But whether it was basketball or conditioning away from the facility, the Ravens hold the right to place Suggs on the non-football injury list and withhold any pay until his return. Last Friday, owner Steven Bisciotti said he wouldn’t dock Suggs‘ pay regardless of how the injury occurred.
“I think it would be a terrible message,” Bisciotti said.
Said Suggs: “After 10 years you build a relationship with the people around here. You have their back, and I come through and I give my all for them.”
Suggs is planning a November return and insisted he’ll play football this upcoming season no matter what. After meeting with Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, Suggs was cleared to begin an accelerated rehabilitation this week.
Suggs likened his rehab to two-a-days, where he works out the rest of his body before his foot in a morning session. After the foot rehab is done, he rests and ices it down before beginning an afternoon session.
If Suggs returns in November, his first game could be in Week 9 at Cleveland, after Baltimore’s bye week. That would be a best-case scenario, with Suggs missing the first seven games. However, Suggs gave himself some wiggle room, saying, “I am not a doctor so that’s just a guess.”
Around the league
RAMS: Outside linebacker Rocky McIntosh, a starter for most of six seasons with the Redskins, signed a free agent contract with St. Louis. McIntosh, 29, could challenge for a starting spot with the Rams, who also have signed Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Mario Haggan to contracts at the position.
TEXANS: Houston signed first-round pick Whitney Mercilus to a four-year deal. Mercilus was the 26th overall pick in this year’s draft out of Illinois. He was a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme at Illinois but has moved to outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment the Texans use.
CHIEFS: Kansas City placed backup tight end Martin Rucker on injured reserve with a right knee injury that will require surgery. Rucker hurt his knee during one of the Chiefs’ voluntary offseason workouts June 1. He was signed as a free agent to provide depth behind Tony Moeaki, who is returning from a torn left ACL that knocked him out during last preseason.