Report: Terrell Suggs out for the season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon

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.

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Buzz building for Courtney Upshaw

University of Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw speaks to reporters during Media Day before his team take on Louisiana State University in the NCAA BCS National Championship, scheduled for January 9, in New Orleans, Louisiana January 6, 2012. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

This kid is a beast and he’s likely moving up on many draft boards.

Will Courtney Upshaw be a defensive end or an outside linebacker in the NFL? The Alabama star and surefire first-round pick has insisted throughout Senior Bowl week that he has no preference.

But this much seems assured: The preference of opposing offensive tackles would be that he take up another line of work.

One of the standouts of a dominating Crimson Tide defense, Upshaw has had a fine week of practice at the Senior Bowl. He has worked with the defensive ends throughout the week, though he plans to do OLB drills at the Combine and at Alabama’s pro day. However, Upshaw did get some work standing up in a 3-4 look this week, noted Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, a member of the South coaching staff this week.

Haslett is among those who have been impressed by the first-team All-American, who garnered BCS championship game MVP honors with seven tackles and a sack in Alabama’s shutout of LSU.

“He’s a tightly built guy that’s powerful, extremely fast,” Haslett said. “… I think he’s got so much upside. I think he’s a heck of a football player.”

Power is the 6-1½, 273-pound Upshaw’s game, whether he’s playing the run or getting after the quarterback. The opposition knows this. What follows is a lot of pushing — and pulling, as Upshaw noted.

It’s early in the process, but draft mania is already catching fire. With Twitter we now have an outlet where more and more people can discuss topics like the draft. Upshaw will get a ton of attention throughout this process.

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