Some players need training camp practices and reps in preseason games to be physically and mentally prepared for the regular season.
As a nine-year veteran who has played in 118 games in his career, Ed Reed isn't necessarily one of those guys.
That's why head coach John Harbaugh said today that Reed could still be an option for the Ravens' regular season opener against the Jets, even though he has yet to be taken off the Active Physically Unable to Perform list and has not taken part in practice with the full team.
"Sure, I think that's a possibility for a guy like Ed Reed," Harbaugh said. "The determining factor is what's good for him, what's best for his career long-term, what's best for him to play at the level he's accustomed to playing. There's no way we're going to rush him back.
"He's probably the kind of guy that would want to come back. I know he is. He's going to want to come back as soon as he can, but he's also been in this thing long enough to know that you've got to do it the right way. So there's a possibility that could happen, just because that's the kind of mindset he has, but we'll just have to see."
Harbaugh said that himself, GM Ozzie Newsome, secondary coach Chuck Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison all met with Reed yesterday to discuss his health and what they want to do with the six-time Pro Bowl safety to start the season.
The Ravens have the option of placing Reed on Reserve PUP, which would mean that he would have to sit out the first six games of the regular season. If they know Reed would only miss a game or two, they could be inclined to leave him on the active roster despite the fact he would eat up a roster spot while he was still recovering.
"He wants to come back, but he understands the situation too, and there's a lot more that goes into it. We have until Saturday to make a decision [on whether to put Reed on PUP], and I'm sure we'll take until Saturday to figure that out."