By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun
10:21 PM EST, December 2, 2012
Clutching his right arm in pain late in the fourth quarter Sunday night, Ravens Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs made a beeline to the sideline toward team doctors and trainers.
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year didn't return, heading to the locker room for further examination during the final minutes of the Ravens' 23-20 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.
Although Suggs appeared to injure his biceps, the team made no announcement regarding the injury . Suggs is scheduled to be examined by a doctor Monday, while the team awaits more information on his status.
"No immediate word on Terrell Suggs," coach John Harbaugh said.
In the locker room afterward, Suggs' arm wasn't in a sling. He was careful not to use it much, though.
Suggs declined to get into specifics about his injury, only telling The Baltimore Sun: "I'll be all right."
If this injury sidelines Suggs, it would mark the second time this year he would have to battle back from injury. Suggs made it back from a partially torn right Achilles tendon sustained in late April that required surgery.
"We know he's a tough guy," nose guard Terrence Cody said. "To take an injury like that, it's real tough. If we don't have him next week, we have to step up as a defense. I don't know what happened, but I saw him coming off the field holding his arm."
Suggs' injury created concern among his teammates considering his importance to the defense in terms of skill and leadership.
"I saw him going off and I kind of shook my head," free safety Ed Reed said. "You hate to see that for anybody, but for Suggs to battle the way he did to get back and to have something like that. Hopefully, it's just minor. When I saw that, I hate to see him go down like that."
Should Suggs miss time with the arm injury, the Ravens would fill his spot with a combination of players. That would include outside linebackers Paul Kruger, Courtney Upshaw and Albert McClellan.
"We definitely don't want to lose any other players," Upshaw said. "A player like Suggs, his presence is a big thing for us."
Outside linebacker Paul Kruger sacked Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch once, marking the fourth consecutive game the Ravens' leading pass rusher has had at least one sack.
However, that's not the play that will stick with Kruger from this game.
During the first play of the Steelers' game-winning drive, Batch's throw was completed to Mike Wallace as Kruger crashed into him late from behind and was flagged for roughing the passer. The 15-yard infraction gave the Steelers a first down at the Ravens' 19-yard line.
"I had a clear shot at him," Kruger said. "I just threw my hands too high and shouldn't have made it that close. It was a big mistake on my part for even making it a possible call, and I can't believe I put my teammates in that situation. There's not much to say."
Kruger said he disagreed with the call.
"I didn't think so, but I saw out of the corner of my eye the referee throw the flag," said Kruger, who leads the Ravens with 6.5 sacks. "I'm just disappointed in myself, and I can't put my teammates in that situation."
During the third quarter, Batch threw an incomplete pass to running back Isaac Redman while falling to the ground.
Harbaugh made an unsuccessful challenge of the play, looking for a fumble ruling. The original call was upheld, costing the Ravens a timeout.
"Yes, that was not a good decision by me," said Harbaugh, who's now 3-for-5 this season on replay challenges. "That was not a good decision. I just felt like he was lying on his back and winging it, and I thought maybe his arm wasn't going forward when I saw it. Looking back on it, it wasn't a good challenge."
The Ravens lost their final timeout with 1:46 left in the game when cornerback Chykie Brown was hurt with a minor ankle injury.
Because the injury occurred in the final 2 minutes, the Ravens were charged with their third and final timeout of the game.
It didn't wind up mattering since the Ravens never got the ball back as Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham knocked in a 42-yard game-winning field goal.
"It's nothing serious," Brown said. "I just tweaked my ankle. I think I stepped on somebody's foot."
Leach delivers big block
Ravens rugged All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach doesn't discriminate, punishing defenders large and small with his powerful blocking.
Leach took down a heavyweight Sunday, sending hefty Steelers veteran nose guard Casey Hampton flying with his feet up in the air. Leach upended the 6-foot-1, 325-pounder, catching him by surprise on a 6-yard Ray Rice run in the first half.
"I had a nice shot on him," Leach said. "He thought he would make a play in the backfield, and I came out of nowhere to hit him. I was just doing my job. It was pretty cool. He wasn't expecting a fullback to come block him. We haven't showed it all year."
The 6-foot, 260-pound Leach also caught four passes for 40 yards out of the backfield.
"We just took advantage of what we were doing, closing down runs," Leach said. "They were able to sneak me out of the backfield."
Saw it coming
Ravens cornerback Corey Graham deduced the Steelers' trickery accurately, reacting fast when he saw wide receiver Antonio Brown set up for a reverse pass.
Graham darted back into coverage to intercept a high sideline pass intended for running back Jonathan Dwyer.
Through scouting reports of the Steelers, Graham knew what was happening right away.
"We saw it on film several times where Brown threw the ball," said Graham after intercepting his second pass of the season against the Steelers and leading the Ravens with a game-high 11 tackles. "It wasn't a surprise for me. When I saw him get the reverse and I seen the running back leaking out, I figured it was a reverse pass. It wasn't a surprise. I just got to make the play."
Defensive end Pernell McPhee played primarily on third downs, playing for the first time in four games.
McPhee had been sidelined with right knee and thigh injuries. He underwent two arthroscopic knee surgeries prior to training camp.
"Thank God for another opportunity to go out and compete," said McPhee, who had one tackle working in behind Arthur Jones at left end. "I didn't get that many snaps. Every time I did, I tried to make the best of it. I'm working my way back."
The Ravens played without starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe because of a right foot and ankle injury suffered against the San Diego Chargers a week ago.
Although listed as limited in practice Friday, Ellerbe acknowledged that he didn't really do much at all and would be a game-time decision.
Special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo started in place of Ellerbe and finished with two tackles one for a loss.
Ellerbe said he wasn't close to playing this week.
"Close doesn't matter," he said. "If I can go, I'm going to go. It's definitely getting better."
Injured middle linebacker Ray Lewis (right triceps) declined an interview request, only saying: "I'm getting better." ... Tight end Ed Dickson was scratched with a sprained and bruised right knee suffered in San Diego. Dennis Pitta started in his place and caught one pass for 19 yards. "We did all we can this week and it didn't feel right," Dickson said. "We did the right thing and rested it. If you saw the play I got hurt, I could have been done and needed surgery. I'm blessed it's not serious. I'm trying to get healthy. We've got a playoff run. I definitely hope to come back this week. In my mind, I'm playing. I'm going to prepare as such and see how it goes." ... The Ravens also deactivated defensive tackle Bryan Hall, cornerback Chris Johnson (strained hamstring), kick returner Deonte Thompson and offensive guard Ramon Harewood. ... The Steelers scratched quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, ribs) and Byron Leftwich (ribs), running back Rashard Mendenhall, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, offensive tackle Mike Adams (ankle) and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. ... Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor injured his right ankle in the first quarter defending a deep pass to Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith and didn't return. The Ravens went after his replacement, Cortez Allen, who was beaten by Anquan Boldin for a 28-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Allen also committed a 30-yard defensive pass interference penalty on that drive to set up the Ravens' lone touchdown of the game. ... Inside linebacker Josh Bynes had two tackles, including one for a loss. "It felt pretty good to get that tackle," Bynes said. "It's tough to come up short in the game."