Reed may have been absent from offseason work and doing a Hamlet-esque job of vacillating about his football future, but Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh were sure he was going to be a participant at the mandatory practices. Reed wasn’t there, though, and that’s left the Ravens to make a decision about whether or not to fine him — Harbaugh only said that the CBA applies on Tuesday — to say nothing of the possibility that this has something to do with Reed’s occasional retirement thoughts.
Linebacker Ray Lewis doesn’t think the Ravens need to worry about Reed being on the field once training camp rolls around. He also doesn’t think anyone needs to worry about Reed not being on the field for this week’s work.
“I’ve talked to him. I talk to him all the time. I don’t expect nothing different. Ed is Ed and when July 25th comes up, Ed will be here and we’ll be getting ready to roll. … People across the world never worry about minicamps or whatever,” Lewis said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “Whatever him and coach talked about, they talked about. I don’t think it’s an issue at all. Ed has other things going, a baby boy, and he’s really trying to focus on things like that. Sometimes, life calls you away from the game. These three days won’t take away from what Ed Reed’s focus is, and that is to come back and help our defense be the best defense there is in football. I don’t think it’s an issue at all, not for us.”
It might be an issue for Harbaugh, though. The coach said that he had not communicated with Reed at all, so he can’t very well excuse Reed’s absence at this point even if it is for the family situation that Lewis mentions. That would mean fines, a punitive step the Ravens didn’t take with trying to recover money from Terrell Suggs. They didn’t want to punish Suggs for physical activity away from the team’s facility, but this situation likely calls for a different message.