The Ravens will have a shorthanded wide receiver corps and kick return unit when they take on the Steelers in the regular season opener next Sunday.
Second-year wideout/kickoff returner David Reed has been suspended for the Ravens’ Week 1 game against Pittsburgh and fined one game check for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The suspension stems from an incident last year where police found marijuana at Reed’s Owings Mills apartment.
Reed’s suspension was first reported by Scout.com.
The Ravens issued a statement regarding Reed’s suspension, which reads simply: “We were aware that this would happen.”
This is similar to a situation that the Ravens dealt with last year, when cornerback Cary Williams was suspended two games at the start of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The Ravens were aware that punishment was coming from the NFL front office, and apparently they were in this instance, as well.
Reed, a fifth-round pick in 2010, led the NFL in kickoff return average last season with 29.3 yards per return. After seeing minimal playing time on offense in his rookie season, Reed was expected to factor into offensive coordinator’s Cam Cameron’s gameplans more this year.
That won’t happen Week 1, as Reed will not be allowed at the team’s facilities during the days leading up to the game, and he obviously won’t be on the field come Sunday afternoon.
With Reed out, rookies Tandon Doss and Torrey Smith are in line for additional playing time against Pittsburgh. Doss might get the first crack as the No. 3 wideout given his strong training camp, while Smith could be in the mix to take over kickoff return duties.
Because Reed will technically not be on the Ravens’ roster Week 1 (he will be placed on the reserve/suspended list), the team, in a sense, will be able to carry 54 players through the first week of the season. Only 53 will be able to play, as Reed must sit, but the Ravens will be allowed to stash Reed while having a roster filled with 53 active players.