The Ravens certainly hope that six-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed will be able to return to practice next week when he's eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list, but head coach John Harbaugh said today that he couldn't guarantee that will be the case.
Harbaugh said that while Reed has been making strides in his rehab and looks to be coming along well after offseason hip surgery, the Ravens are unsure of whether Reed will play next week.
The decision on whether Reed does, in fact, return to the field, will fall to the safety himself, Harbaugh said.
"You've got to be careful what you say," Harbaugh said. "I don't know [Reed will be back next week]. I'm hopeful, I'm optimistic, I feel like he's doing great. And what I was trying to say was he's working really hard, and he looks good. But you don't know.
"That's going to be up to Ed and the doctors and the trainers to see how it goes. I think he's going to push himself as hard as he can, and then really it will be his call, because he's going to know whether he can [play]. He's been in the league forever. He knows what he can do and what he can't do."
Harbaugh put Brendon Ayanbadejo in that same category, saying that the veteran linebacker will be able to tell the Ravens when he feels he's ready to return from PUP. Ayanbadejo suffered a torn quadriceps tendon against the Patriots in Week 4 last season.
As for running back Matt Lawrence, who is also on PUP as he works back from a knee injury, Harbaugh said the second-year man out of UMass isn't quite as far along as Reed and Ayanbadejo.
"We'll have to just see," Harbaugh said. "Matt Lawrence is probably the most grey right now, as far as returning."