David Reed readily admits it was tough not being able to participate in Sunday's game against the Steelers due to his one-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The second-year wide receiver was not allowed to participate in practices all last week and he had to sit out the Pittsburgh game because of the suspension, which came down as a result of an incident last year where police found marijuana at Reed's Owings Mills apartment.
"It was hard. It was real hard," Reed said. "It was very disappointing being against our rivals and everything. I'm just happy I can get it behind me now and move on and just get better."
Reed is back at Ravens practices this week, and now, he'll have to show the coaches that he's worthy of retaining his job as the top kickoff returner.
As a rookie, Reed averaged 29.3 yards per kickoff return, tops in the NFL. With Reed out last week, cornerback Lardarius Webb handled the kick returns, and on his lone opportunity to take one out, Webb had a 37-yard runback, out to the Baltimore 34-yard line.
Reed said he's unaware if he'll be handed the kick return job this Sunday against Tennessee in his return to action.
"I'm not sure, it's up to coach (Jerry) Rosburg," Reed said. "I'm just going to compete, continue to compete for it. ... I think I'm a great kick returner and I think I showed that last year."
Reed could also be in line for reps on offense, and he might slot in as the Ravens' third wide receiver, or possibly even higher, if Lee Evans continues to have left foot/ankle issues.
Regardless of where he ends up seeing time, Reed says he's just excited to get back on the field again.
"I can't wait to show these guys that I'm a player, show the coaches and everybody that I'm back and everything," Reed said.