In last week's win over the Dallas Cowboys, the Ravens lost both linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb for the season. In addition, defensive Pro Bowlers Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata were injured as well, though they were able to stay on the field.
The Ravens are in an unfamiliar position with the No. 26 defense in the NFL. Without its leading tackler and best cornerback, things can go from bad to worse quickly.
Fortunately, the unit got a big addition from the return of the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the surprising news.
Suggs—who has totaled 25 sacks over the past few years—instantly improves the defense by giving the struggling pass rush some life.
Still, the most important thing that provides right now is the emotional lift that he gives the Ravens.
Lewis is not only a great player, but he is also an emotional leader for this talented team. The 17-year veteran is like a coach on the field and has helped out younger players throughout his career.
Without him, the entire team was certain to lose some intensity.
Fortunately, Suggs is one of the few players in the NFL who is able to match the excitement that Lewis provides on the field.
In the first quarter on Sunday, the linebacker dropped opposing quarterback Matt Schaub for an eight-yard loss. The entire sideline for the Ravens was noticeably excited and relieved at the same time. It was a group feeling of "we are going to be okay."
There is enough experience on this team to believe it will turn things around, especially on defense. However, things could have been much worse without the return of Suggs.
Hopefully for the Ravens, the defensive star will be able to play to his peak ability and lead them deep into the playoffs once again.