Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered a torn Achilles. (John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST)

The injury, as first reported by 105.7 The Fan’s Vinny Cerrato, is a tremendous blow to one of the league’s top defenses. Suggs had 70 tackles and a career-high 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 2011 to earn defensive player of the year honors. And perhaps more importantly, he played 200 more snaps than any other player on Baltimore’s front seven last season, according to

“We are in contact with Terrell,” the team said in a statement. “He will see a specialist early next week, and we’ll know more at that time.”

Suggs, who said the tear is only a partial one, remains confident he could return during the season.

“Absolutely,” he told the Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson. “Middle to end of October. Definitely beginning of November. I love how you guys (media) are saying out for the season. Just gonna make my comeback that much bigger.”

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the team learned of the injury earlier this week.

“We found out about it on Monday,” Newsome said. “(Suggs) said he would be visiting with a specialist early next week.” reported that Suggs will have surgery next week and that he expects to recover within four to six months.

With the draft come and gone and the game’s top free agents already signed, the Ravens have few options to replace one of the most versatile and consistently productive defensive players in the NFL over the last eight years. Suggs played 95 percent of Baltimore’s defensive snaps (990 out of 1042) according to NFL reporter Adam Caplan.

Rookie Pernell McPhee should see a significant boost in his snaps after a productive season (23 tackles, six sacks) in limited action a year ago. The Ravens also drafted Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw with the third pick in the second round. Upshaw had 9 1/2 sacks and 52 tackles in his senior season with the Crimson Tide’s vaunted defense.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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