How Serious Is Ed Reed's Neck Injury?

Jarrett CarterAnalyst INovember 12, 2009

BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens defends against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Browns 34-3. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

We know for a fact that Ed Reed’s neck injury of two seasons ago caused him to consider retirement. Obviously, like most football players, money and pride diverted his course back to superior play-making for the Ravens.

And while he has played at a Pro Bowl level, his neck may be paying a hefty price that is impacting his performance on the field.

“If there’s a point that I come to where it’s hurting me that bad and I don’t feel like I can be beneficial to the team on Sunday, then that’s when … I don’t need to be playing because I’m going to take away from what we’re trying to do,” Reed said. “Until I feel that way, I’m going to be out there trying to help.”

In other words, “Yeah, this hurts like heck, but I’m here to play and that’s what I’ll do.”

There are a couple of things to consider in this situation. One is that Reed is the best defensive back the team has by MILES, and he knows how badly he is needed. The other is that the Ravens made no secret about adding depth to the position by drafting safeties Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura two years ago.

Between the two, one could step in and fill in nicely for Reed. And with enough experience and enough time missed on Reed’s part, he could very well become expendable and untradeable.

In a sense, both Reed and the Ravens are hampered by this injury. Reed is too prideful to shut it down, and while he may still be a factor in games, it’s literally week-to-week with him. Conversely, how do you plan for future personnel moves and current player development without forcing a Hall of Famer out?

Not an easy task for the front office or for Reed. Unfortunately, Reed’s neck and his future comfort are bearing the brunt of the prideful silence of both sides.


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