OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh never received a phone call or text message from Ed Reed when the safety failed to report for a mandatory minicamp last month.
But after a long offseason in which the All-Pro defensive back sent mixed messages about his desire to play this season while also hinting at wanting a long-term contract, Reed reported to the team’s Owings Mills training facility on Wednesday.
“Ed Reed plans on being here,” Harbaugh said. “I talked with Ed, had a great conversation. I’m looking forward to seeing him.”
Reed is entering the final year of a six-year contract that will pay him $7.2 million this season. The mercurial defensive star hinted that he could hold out during training camp but has backed off that talk in recent interviews.
Harbaugh confirmed veteran guard Eric Steinbach tried out for the Ravens on Tuesday, but there was no confirmation of a potential deal as of Tuesday evening.
Coming off back surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season, Steinbach was cut by the Browns in March and will need to prove to potential suitors that he’s fully recovered from the injury.
The Ravens signed 35-year-old guard Bobbie Williams in early June, but the former Bengals lineman suffered a fractured ankle at the end of last season. Williams is supposed to be competing with Kelechi Osemele and Jah Reid, but both players are currently sidelined with injuries and Steinbach provides a more impressive pedigree in a potential battle for the left guard position.
“If we can create even better competition and put more good players in the mix with the kind of financial resources that we have, we always want to do that,” said Harbaugh, who revealed the Ravens also worked out some outside linebackers recently. “Eric Steinbach’s a heck of a player. I don’t know where we stand, but we’re going to look for any good player we can at any time.”
The Ravens placed four players on the active physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp as Osemele, Reid, Pernell McPhee, and David Reed are being held out of practice due to injuries.
Osemele appears to be recovered from the leg injury that hampered him during organized team activities, but the rookie lineman is now dealing with back spasms. However, Harbaugh expects the 335-pounder to return to practice in the next day or two.
After being carted off the field with a calf injury on the final day of mandatory minicamp, Reid suffered a setback a couple weeks ago and continues to work through the injury.
Harbaugh confirmed that McPhee underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during OTAs and walked with a slight limp as he watched Tuesday’s practice from the sidelines.
“Just had a little thing cleaned up in his knee, nothing major on his knee,” Harbaugh said. “He had a little personal issue, so he missed about a week of rehab, so we are easing him in slow right now. He should be practicing very, very soon.”
The third-year return specialist Reed is progress more slowly as he continues to recover from the torn ACL he suffered last December. Of the four players on the active PUP list, Reed appears to be the only candidate to begin the year on the reserve PUP, which would force him to miss the first six weeks of the regular season.
“We’re talking about an ACL that was toward the mid-to-late season last year,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got hopes for David Reed, but if [he] gets back in training camp, I think that’d be a huge upset. Although he actually is looking really good, but let’s just take it slow with an ACL.”
Linebacker Terrell Suggs was placed on the non-football injury list as he continues to rehab after undergoing surgery to repair a partially-torn Achilles tendon.
Linebacker Courtney Upshaw and tight end Bruce Figgins initially joined Suggs on the list after both rookies failed the conditioning test, but each player passed it and practiced on Tuesday.
“A couple guys will learn their lesson the hard way,” Harbaugh said, “as far as the conditioning test and getting out and practicing at our pace, but that’s a good thing, too.”
Center Matt Birk (varicose vein surgery) and cornerback Cary Williams (hip) practiced without any visible limitations on Tuesday as they were both recovering from surgical procedures. Williams told WNST.net earlier this month he would be ready to start training camp after undergoing hip surgery early in the offseason and being limited during organized team activities.
Defensive tackle Terrence Cody also reported early and took part in Tuesday’s practice.
Beginning his fifth training camp as head coach of the Ravens, Harbaugh was sporting a new goatee as he stepped to the podium to meet with reporters following the first workout open to media.
He doesn’t anticipate keeping the facial hair, but Harbaugh hoped to keep reporters distracted with the new look.
“Fun statement, you know?” Harbaugh said. “I just thought I’d get somebody’s attention. I wanted to divert you guys. It’s like the car wreck; divert you guys away from some issues, right?”
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