BALTIMORE — On a day when the Ravens induct linebacker Ray Lewis into their Ring of Honor, another former member of the team’s esteemed defense makes his return to Baltimore.
The circumstances will be vastly different.
Lewis retired in February after leading the Ravens (1-1) to their second Super Bowl victory. He will be hailed Sunday for a sensational 17-year career and for spending all of it in Baltimore.
Ed Reed was also a key player on the 2012 world champions, and for 11 years he served as a standout free safety with the Ravens. On Sunday, he will be the enemy.
Reed and the Ravens failed to agree to terms during the offseason, so the franchise career interception leader signed as a free agent with Houston. After missing two games with an ailing hip, the 35-year-old Reed is expected to make his debut with the Texans (2-0) on Sunday.
“I’m feeling a lot better and trying to push it a little bit more to see exactly how I feel if I go full throttle,” Reed said Thursday, acknowledging his availability will be a game-time decision.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco can hardly imagine what it’s going to be like to see Reed in a Houston uniform.
“I knew Ed Reed as a Baltimore Raven before I started playing on the Baltimore Ravens,” said Flacco, now in his sixth season. “We’ve faced old teammates before. But the fact that all the fans know him as a Baltimore Raven, and the fact that I was a fan of his at one point, yeah, it probably makes it a little bit different.”
Reed harbors no ill will toward the Ravens for letting him walk.
“There’s no bad blood on either side,” he said. “I know how this business works.”
Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said, “He moved on, and we moved on.”