Ravens Confirm Reed Not Returning Kicks

It’s uncertain who will win the job. Five players have returned kicks this season.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Categories: Garrett Downing, Week 11 vs Bengals

The Ravens will have a new kick returner on Sunday.

After starting return man David Reed fumbled twice and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, the Ravens are looking at other options.

“He will not be returning kicks for us on Sunday,” Ravens Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg announced on Thursday.

Reed fumbled three kickoffs in the last two games, and while Rosburg said Reed won’t be on returns this week, he did not say who would take over the job.

“We’re going to have a good kickoff return practice and we’re going to find out who our kickoff returner is going to be for Sunday,” Rosburg said.

Baltimore has used five other players to return kicks this year – LaDarius Webb, Torrey Smith, Chris Carr, LaQuan Williams and Bryan McCann – and none has taken one back for a touchdown.

Smith and Carr returned kicks on Sunday after the fumbles by Reed.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said on Monday that Webb is “probably our best guy,” but he already returns punts and starts at cornerback, and the coaches don’t want to put too much on his plate.

Webb has returned one kickoff this season for 37 yards.

“The bottom line is when a kick play is over, we want our offense running on the field,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the main thing.”

While Reed won’t be returning kicks this weekend, Rosburg did not shut the door on him winning back the spot later in the season.

“I’m sure he can bounce back,” Rosburg said. “David is a competitive athlete and he’s looking forward for the next opportunity. We don’t know when that is, but I’m certain when he does get in there again everyone is going to be watching him with that in mind.”

The coaches have worked with Reed on basic drills this week to avoid coughing up the football. 

“There’s a fundamental way to carry the football and those principles were not really put into play,” Rosburg said. “We got to get it fixed.”

As a rookie last year, Reed led the NFL in kickoff return average.

“We like David back there as a returner,” Rosburg said, “But he won’t be our returner if he puts the ball on the ground.”

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