OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Revealing Tuesday he hadn’t spoken to safety Ed Reed about his decision to skip the Ravens’ mandatory minicamp, coach John Harbaugh wants to make it clear how much he respects the All-Pro defensive back.
Asked once again whether he had heard from Reed after he was absent for the second straight day from practice, Harbaugh confirmed he has yet to speak to him but doesn’t want to blow the situation out of proportion. Reed will make $7.2 million in the final year of a six-year, $44.2 million contract extension signed in 2006 before becoming a free agent after the 2012 season.
“Not to make too much out of it, I have tremendous respect for Ed,” Harbaugh said. “I’ve used the word admiration. I’m not worried about Ed being ready. I said a couple of weeks ago that I know Ed’s going to be working hard getting himself ready for the season.”
Harbaugh has handled questions graciously the past two days regarding Reed’s status, but the Baltimore coach clearly doesn’t want to dive into the reasons why the veteran hasn’t shown up despite knowing he faces total fines exceeding $70,000 for not reporting.
Reed told teammate Ray Lewis he is addressing his family but plans to report for training camp to begin his 11th season with the Ravens. Time will tell whether it will also be his last in Baltimore.
“Any comment beyond that really has no value,” said Harbaugh about Reed’s absence. “I value our friendship. I value the relationship. I value him as a player. I’m going to plan as though he’s going to be here and be ready to go. Whatever is going on, Ed knows how to deal with it.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco was excused from Wednesday’s workout as his wife Dana went into labor with the couple’s first child. The fifth-year quarterback drove to Philadelphia to meet her at the hospital.
Offensive linemen Bryant McKinnie (conditioning) and Matt Birk (varicose veins procedure) were absent from the practice field for the second straight day along with linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon), running back Ray Rice (franchise tag), and defensive end Pernell McPhee (arthroscopic knee surgery).
Rookie running back Bernard Pierce missed Wednesday’s workout with a tweaked hamstring, though Harbaugh labeled it a mild injury.
Wide receivers Tandon Doss and David Reed (torn ACL) and offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Howard Barbieri were present for the second straight day but not working.