ESPN’s Adam Schefter initially broke the news on the morning of May 3 that Suggs tore his Achilles playing basketball. As the day went on he backtracked from those comments saying that it was “unclear” whether the injury occurred on the court or in a conditioning test.
Today, Schefter clarified his source in a piece on ESPN.com.
Despite continuing to say he tore his right Achilles tendon during conditioning drills, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs injured his right lower leg playing basketball on Sunday, April 29, according to staff members who attended a three-day basketball tournament in which Suggs played that weekend.
“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: “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.”
Schefter reports that Hoffman was supposed to fill out an incident report related to the injury, but Suggs “declined help and left the gym.” He did not return to court to play in the tournament.
“It was either the Achilles or the ankle because it was in that area. After that, he left and didn’t play,” Hoffman clarified.
Suggs issued a statement to ESPN through his agent on Tuesday that Hoffman’s comments were not true. “I hurt myself doing my conditioning test.”
“I was watching SportsCenter, and they said he did it during a conditioning test, and I said, ‘What? What’s going on here?’” said Adam Bowman, who also works at the Akchin Gymnasium and attended the tournament in which Suggs played. “And then to lie about it … “
The Ravens have declined to comment. Schefter adds that Suggs “has a reputation of playing [basketball] often in the offseason.”
So why would the Ravens or Suggs choose to say this injury occurred during a training session? Were they worried about the backlash of an off-the-field injury? What does the team or the player have to gain from lying to the public?
There are many unanswered questions in this one.