By Samuel Njoku
The Ravens look onward to Week 3 after handling the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. They’ll battle the Houston Texans next in a matchup that isn’t short of storylines. For starters, Baltimore will welcome back perhaps the second most popular player in their short history in Ed Reed. The future hall of fame safety spent 11 seasons in Baltimore making huge plays for the fans at M&T Bank Stadium. He’ll now attempt to make those plays for the Houston Texans.
Houston signed Reed to a three-year contract worth $15 million during the offseason. Both the Ravens and Reed knew this was a business decision and on the outside there doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings.
“How fortunate we are to have had Ed with us for 11 seasons,” Director of Pro Personnel Vincent Newsome said in a statement to the media. “He is one of the Ravens and NFL’s all-time greats. Words can’t measure what he did for us, including helping us win a second Super Bowl.”
Though Reed left on good terms, he is still a human being. And nothing would make him happier than to show off in front of the fans who once chanted his name on Sundays. So far, Reed hasn’t played a snap of football for the Texans as he currently deals with a hip injury. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak described the likelihood of Reed playing against the Titans last week as “very, very close” but went short of committing Reed for the game against Baltimore.
“No, I wouldn’t say that,” Kubiak said regarding Reed’s status for Sunday. “I say he’s doing great. He ran with the team [Sunday]. I think he’s right where we kind of thought he would be and we’re still in a day-to-day process, but he’s doing very well.”
Regardless, it would take a pretty substantial injury to keep Reed away from this game. But playing against your former team doesn’t always yield positive results. Former Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger finished the game with two tackles as the Browns fell to Baltimore 14-6 last week.
The crowd will be even more fired up than usual as Ray Lewis will be enshrined in the Ravens Ring of Honor. The game will hold special meaning as it may be the last time both Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are inside M&T Bank Stadium together for quite some time. When asked about Ed Reed’s status for Sunday, Ray Lewis stated that he’d be “very surprised” if Ed Reed didn’t suit up for the game.
It’ll be a game filled with plenty of emotion. Will fans witness the infamous squirrel dance from Ray Lewis to kick things off? Ray Lewis told the media he doesn’t plan on doing anything like that. But stranger things have happened.
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.