Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs continues to insist he tore his right Achilles tendon while conditioning, despite witnesses coming forward to say they were present when Suggs went down at during a basketball game on Sunday, April 29.
“He got hurt Sunday prior to the [basketball tournament] championship game,” said Herman (Sonny) Hoffman, the director of the Akchin Gymnasium in Maricopa, Ariz., where the tournament was held.
Asked if he believed that was when Suggs injured his Achilles, Hoffman said to ESPN: “More than likely it was. My staff saw the whole incident. It was the condition you’d describe for a torn Achilles. He had no movement, no step, and it swelled up right away.”
Hoffman was in charge of filling out an incident report related to the injury and inquiring if Suggs needed emergency medical services. Suggs declined help and left the gym.
Asked again how sure he was that Suggs, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tore his Achilles at that moment, Hoffman said: “Well, I have other staff members that told me the same thing. The people who were scorekeeping, keeping the books, running the clock, they all said the same thing. He did it during the game. It looked like he stepped wrong. There was a collision, and he stepped wrong, possibly on someone’s foot. It was either the Achilles or the ankle because it was in that area. After that, he left and didn’t play.”
When told Tuesday of the comments by staff members at the basketball tournament, Suggs told ESPN through his agent, Joel Segal: “Simply not true. I hurt myself doing my conditioning test.”
On May 3, ESPN first reported that Suggs suffered the injury playing basketball, but then conflicting reports emerged. ESPN reported later that day that Suggs, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, said he suffered the injury while doing conditioning work.
When asked for a reaction to the witnesses’ account of Suggs’ injury, a Ravens spokesman told ESPN.com: “Our only concern is getting our players ready for the season, and that includes working with players who are currently injured.”
Suggs, 29, told The Baltimore Sun on Sunday night: “I wanted to make sure that championship game was going to be played in Baltimore, so I didn’t take any time off. After the last game, I left Baltimore and came to Phoenix and started training again. I think the injury is a result of me pushing too hard. I’m not 23 anymore. I’m not 30, either, but there are times you have to back off.”