I went ahead and looked. Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs played 67 of 87 defensive snaps for the team on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, so he wasn’t actually a no-show. He just didn’t show up—at all—on the stat sheet. The 34-year-old former Defensive Player of the Year failed to register even an assisted tackle in the game that cost his team the division, and the playoffs, with his defense giving up the game-winning score with nine seconds to play.
That is not to take away from the season that he has had this year, registering eight sacks, four passes defensed, and three forced fumbles in 14 games despite coming back from an Achilles tear. And he said after that game that he’s not done yet. Steve Smith may be hanging it up, but Suggs is coming back for more in 2017.
Suggs, of course, is actually under contract for next year—in fact, he has two years left on a four-year contract extension that he signed in 2014—and he has never previously talked about the possibility of retiring, so why is this even being brought up? Because some reporter had the foolishness to ask him the question after his team was just eliminated from the playoffs.
After he was asked if he was weighing retirement after the loss, Suggs started answering by saying “I don’t know what you heard”, before derailing to ask the other reporters “what the [expletive] is wrong with him”, then finally finishing his answer by saying that he “was always planning to come back and doing this another year”.
The veteran outside linebacker not only was coming off an Achilles tear this year, he also suffered a triceps tear during the season that he has been playing through, and for which he only missed one game. Admittedly, it has hurt his productivity, as five of his eight sacks occurred in the six games prior to his injury, with only three in the past seven.
Not that sacks have ever been a rarity for him, as he has 114.5 in his career, which is currently the fifth-most among active players—and in case you were wondering, well clear of James Harrison’s career total, though Suggs has been playing in a starting role significantly longer, even if he is four years younger.
The man has been a bit of an arch-nemesis for the Steelers, as he has recorded more sacks against them than anybody else has in NFL history. And, of course, nobody has taken down Ben Roethlisberger more frequently. That is one person who wouldn’t mind seeing him hang it up after this year, just so he wouldn’t have to face him.
Many greats from this rivalry between the Steelers and the Ravens have already come and gone, and more will soon be on their way. At least Suggs, however, will be back for at least one more trot around the bases. Hopefully Harrison, at age 39, will return as well.