I’ve made note of this a few times here in the early days of June, but sometimes it’s just so NFL offseason how quickly language gets deciphered and a new meaning is created. Often, guys like me are responsible for breaking the telephone (sorry) as we do our best to interpret meaning with the little information we’re given. So do us a favor, players, coaches, and general managers of the NFL, and try to speak with clarity foremost in mind? Thanks.
Oh, what’s that Ed Reed? You have something contradictory to say?
Yesterday there was much huffing and puffing and concern over Reed possibly not being ready for Week 1 this fall after his hip surgery. By extension, if that happens it’s also likely that Reed will be slowed early in the season, which means much more fun fantasy times for the Chargers, Titans, and Ravens, and their quarterbacks and receivers. Although I wish no ill on any man, Reed — even an aging Reed — not being in the Texans’ secondary is rather inviting, especially since he’s set to play in a defensive backfield also featuring Daniel Manning and Johnathan Joseph. Yeah, no thanks.
The concern about Reed and his ongoing recovery originated from comments he made yesterday when he visited the White House with his former Ravens teammates. Here they are, from the Houston Chronicle:
“I plan on being back for Week 1. But as you’ve known me for the longest time, I’m going to be smart about my injuries and make sure I’m there for the later part of the season when the team really needs me.”
That seems innocent enough, right? But in the dire nothingness of June, if you leave the door open even just slightly, it’ll be busted down by swat teams. Hide your wife, hide your kids.
Reed did that with the second part of his comment, which led to speculation that he could be either absent or slowed early. No worries, though, because our boy had a chance to clarify himself this morning on NFL Network. Please stop the maddness, Ed.
“I can’t speak about Week 1 because I’m rehabbing right now”
Uh oh, this isn’t starting out well.
“I don’t know what the future holds. I know my rehab is going well. I know I am probably ahead of schedule, but at the same time I still got to take it slow. We are in June right now, I’m usually full-throttle, running and everything right about now, but I’m not at that point to where I’m running.”
Stop it! Stop it now, dammit. Say something nice.
“My whole plan, my focus, like I told (general manager) Rick Smith … I told him my plan, my goal is to be there that first game. I will be there the first game.”
Reed added that given his vintage (he’ll turn 35 in September), being healthy and at an optimal performance level late in the season and during a playoff drive is more important than Week 1. That’s some fine logic there, but we’re still left with the thought that one of the best safeties in football (again, even despite his age) could be either sidelined or hobbled early in the season.
Philip Rivers and Jake Locker stand to benefit from any absence first, followed by Joe Flacco if Reed misses a meeting with his former team in Week 3.