As expected, the Ravens follow Sunday's disappointing loss to the Patriots with some good news on Monday: Safety Ed Reed and linebacker/special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo will be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list and will begin practicing with the team on Wednesday.
After sitting out for the PUP's mandatory six week period, Reed, the Ravens' six-time Pro Bowl safety, has recovered enough from his surgically-repaired hip to return to the practice field this week.
Head coach John Harbaugh said that the Ravens will monitor Reed's health and conditioning level throughout the week, and he could be ready to play this Sunday against the Bills, although that's not a certainty.
"I think it's going to be something we have to figure out," Harbaugh said. "First of all, can he play? He hasn't practiced since last season, so how's he going to respond to practice and football and bursting and all that? Then, how many reps can he take? It's going to all be up in the air."
Reed has had a number of injuries in the past few seasons, including serious issues with his hip and neck. Harbaugh said that he thinks the time on PUP has been a benefit for Reed in that it's allowed him to get to a point where he's as healthy as he's been throughout the last couple years.
"I think, overall, yeah," Harbaugh said. "I know he's worked really hard. And when you look at him, you guys have seen him around the building, he looks very fit. he looks good. But the hip is the issue. How's the hip going to hold up with the football-related stuff? So, we'll have to see."
Ayanbadejo, a three-time Pro Bowler on special teams, is coming back from a torn quadriceps tendon which he suffered against the Patriots in Week 4 of last season. The eight-year veteran said last week that he hopes to play this Sunday against the Bills, although, like will be the case with Reed, the Ravens will monitor Ayanbadejo's health throughout practice this week.
The only player on PUP not yet cleared to practice with the team is reserve running back Matt Lawrence, who is coming off a knee injury. Harbaugh said the Ravens haven't determined whether Lawrence will practice this week. That decision will be made over the next 48 hours.
A player who started the season on PUP has a 21-day window to begin practicing with the team after he's eligible to return. If the player is not activated within that time frame, he will remain on PUP, which would end his season.