BALTIMORE MD - OCTOBER 24: Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens returns an interception against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bills 37-34. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
When Baltimore Ravens All-Pro free safety Ed Reed was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List just before the beginning of the 2010 regular season, many Ravens fans held their collective breaths for the first six weeks, wondering when, much less if he would ever return to play football again.
Reed underwent hip surgery during the off season and rehabbed it through OTAs, Training Camp and the six games he sat out as he watched the team race out to a 4-2 record. Over Reed's nine year career, the guy many say might be the best safety to ever play the game has always fought serious injury, from his neck to the hip injury he played through in the 2009 season until he could no longer stand the pain and succumbed to the surgery earlier this year.
These injuries are not your "typical" run-of-the-mill NFL injuries players around the league have to deal with on a regular basis. Alone, each of them were serious enough to end playing careers. Together, the fact that Reed even tried to return, much less did so with such a bang two weeks ago, makes one wonder if Reed is wearing a big "S" uniform under his Ravens' jersey!
The Ravens considered not even playing Reed against the Buffalo Bills in week seven, thinking the winless Bills would not require his services and therefore, combined with the Bye week this past Sunday, he could get another two weeks of rest and rehab to prepare for the remainder of the season.
Not so for Reed and the Ravens. Buffalo took Baltimore deep into overtime before winning 37-34 on a Billy Cundiff field goal after a defensive turnover. In fact without the services of Reed, odds are that the Ravens would have lost that game and been the Bills' first victory of the season. Ed picked off Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick twice, returning both interceptions a combined 46 yards deep into Buffalo territory to turn the tide. Reed finished his first appearance of 2010 with four tackles, a forced fumble and those two picks. Not a bad way to "power though" in the face of adversity, eh?