Perhaps the Ravens didn’t select Alabama defender Courtney Upshaw just because he was a value in the second round.
As it turns out, they’re going to need him to be a major contributor this season.
According to 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, Terrell Suggs is out of the 2012 season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter has already confirmed the news (so you know it’s true) and reported that Suggs injured himself playing basketball. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year will apparently have surgery sometime next week.
This is a massive blow for a team that has had Super Bowl aspirations the last couple of seasons. Suggs is coming off his best season as a pro while recording career highs in both sacks (14) and forced fumbles (7). He was part of a Baltimore defense that finished third in both yards (4,622) and points allowed (16.6).
Heading into the draft it didn’t appear as though linebacker was that big of a need for the Ravens, even after Jarrett Johnson signed a four-year deal with the Chargers in free agency. But with Suggs on the shelf, the Ravens were fortunate that a first-round talent like Upshaw fell to them in the second round. (Although GM Ozzie Newsome clearly wasn’t desperate to add marquee defensive help since he traded out of the first round entirely. Still, he was fortunate that Upshaw slid out of the first round.)
The Ravens will now rely on Upshaw, Paul Kruger and Pernell McPhee to pressure the quarterback next season. 2011 second round pick Sergio Kindle was reportedly on the roster bubble (or would be heading into training camp), but his job appears to be safe for now. The Ravens are going to need bodies after the injury to Suggs.