Ravens happy Ed Reed is back, too

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- With all the talk about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missing the first Steelers-Ravens matchup this year, another Pro Bowl-caliber player was sidelined, too, and his return isn't getting nearly the same attention.

Forgotten dynamic safety Ed Reed? The Ravens certainly haven't.

"Well, I guess we knew that Ben would be back, too. So maybe it evened out," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's good to have Ed Reed back. Ed Reed, obviously, is a guy who can make interceptions. He's my favorite guy...I'll take Ed Reed any day of the week."

Baltimore's locker room shared the same sentiment as its head coach about having Reed back for this huge rivalry game. Since returning from the physically unable to perform list following hip surgery, Reed already has four interceptions in five games, and his ability to play center field could make a huge difference Pittsburgh's willingness to throw deep on Sunday.

The Steelers like going over the top to speedy receiver Mike Wallace, who is having a breakout year. Wallace has three 100-yard games the past four weeks and four touchdowns over that span. But deep routes will be more risky, as Reed has 50 interceptions and nine defensive touchdowns in his career.

"He's making plays even when he's not supposed to be somewhere," Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs said. "So, when you've got a guy like that, he's like American Express: He's everywhere you want to be. I love having Ed Reed back."

With two good teams battling for first-place in the AFC North, one big play could determine the outcome of the game. Similar to Roethlisberger, Reed has proven to be a game-changer.

"Maybe one of the best players I've ever played against," Roethlisberger said during Wednesday's conference call. "Instinctually, he's one of those guys. His instincts are just uncanny, it's unbelievable."

Click here to order Ed Reed’s proCane Rookie Card.

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