Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed has taken it on the chin this season for not playing up to his All-Pro caliber standards.
Now, Reed says he has a legitimate reason for not playing up to his ability: a shoulder injury.
“I had a stinger hurt me this year so bad in my right shoulder to where now it has affected my deltoid and my scapula,” Reed told ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley. “My shoulder has just been hanging on the last couple of weeks. You could see how it has affected me for the most part. I think I’ve missed one tackle for four games straight, one in each game.
Reed, 33, hasn’t been listed on the injury report the last several weeks, so this is the first time the injury is being brought to light. While a nerve impingement in Reed’s shoulder and neck has limited his ability to tackle the past few seasons, he has struggled even more so this year to make tackles.
In any case, the injury could play a big factor in Sunday’s divisional-round playoff game against the Houston Texans. Reed will be needed to help slow down the Texans’ rushing attack, which ranked second in the regular season at 153 yard per game. Last week, the Texans rushed for a 188 yards on the ground, which led all teams in the wild-card round.