Late For Work 1/11: Reed Tells ESPN Shoulder ‘Hanging On’

Mason gives Flacco edge over Yates, Billick picks Ravens Super Bowl, debating point spread.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at 9:28 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Reed Tells ESPN Shoulder ‘Hanging On’

Ed Reed’s missed tackle in Week 17 that resulted in a Bengals 25-yard touchdown was so unlike the All-Pro that many wondered if lingering injuries were affecting the 10-year veteran’s play.

Reed spoke to the issue for the first time with ESPN blogger Jamison Hensley yesterday.

Reed revealed he has been bothered by a shoulder stinger.

“I had a stinger hurt me this year so bad in my right shoulder to where now it has affected my deltoid (muscle in the shoulder) and my scapula,” Reed told ESPN blogger 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.”

Whether the injury will still be an issue when the Texans bring a physical, run-first offense to town Sunday is unclear.

“This injury could have an impact in Sunday’s divisional playoff game against Houston,” wrote Hensley. “Reed will need to help out in run support against the Texans … but this injury could limit Reed’s effectiveness.”

The bye week may have been helpful in giving Reed’s shoulder some time to rest. Earlier this week, Harbaugh said “we look good” from an injury perspective and expects “everybody playing” against the Texans.

That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is 100 percent, however.

Derrick Mason, who this week announced his retirement after 15 years in the league, said he could tell both Reed and Ray Lewis have not been 100 percent this season. Still, he would put both of them on the field even if they can’t play at their highest capacity.

You can see it. I saw it. Watching Ed, I saw it mainly in his tackling and ability moving around the field,” Mason told Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times yesterday. “I’ve talked to Ed and he’s expressed to me some of the things that are bothering him. You can see why it wasn’t Ed Reed intercepting the ball. He’s been injured.

“He’s a warrior. He’s going to fight through it. I would rather have Ed at 75 percent or 80 percent than someone else at 100 percent.

Mason Says Flacco Holds Edge Over Yates

Derrick Mason could be in the best position to judge which quarterback has the edge in Sunday’s divisional playoff game.

He was Joe Flacco’s go-to target for three years in Baltimore, and he was on the receiving end of T.J Yates’ passes this season.

With the Ravens and Texans both touting some of the league’s best defenses and rushing attacks, the game could be decided by quarterback play.

After his experience with both signal callers, Mason says the advantage goes to Flacco.

Baltimore has an edge on that one because Joe has more experience than T.J.,” Mason told Wilson.

Mason was complimentary of both quarterbacks.

Yates, a fifth-round pick from North Carolina, is the Texans’ third-string quarterback who moved into the starting role after injuries ended Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart’s seasons.

Despite his inexperience, Yates is coming off one of his better performances last week in the wild-card matchup against the Bengals, completing 11 of 20 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.

“T.J. is very poised and calm and tough,” Mason said. “He played a lot better this last game. I think it was his best game of the season. He looks like he’s rejuvenated for the playoffs and ready to go.”

Even though Flacco’s statistics are not what they were last year – after a nearly complete overhaul of his receiving corps in the offseason – Mason believes Flacco has taken another step in his progression.

“I think he’s done a good job at really not regressing this year,” Mason said. “He’s had some success in the prior three years, but he didn’t allow himself to get satisfied. He wants to get better. He got better this year.”

Mason declined to give a prediction on which of his former teams will win.

Billick Predicts Ravens Go To Super Bowl

There was another former Raven who didn’t shy away from giving a prediction for this weekend’s game.

Not only did former Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick say he thinks Baltimore will beat the Texans, but he went as far as saying the Ravens will see the Packers in the Super Bowl.

“The Ravens are making a championship run and they are in the thick of it,” Billick told 105.7 The Fan. “I’ve got the Ravens going to the Super Bowl. They’re going to beat Houston. I think they can go in and beat New England. I want Ray Lewis on that football field.”

He added, “Normally, when you size up the playoff pool, it’s what? Rank the quarterbacks. You rank the quarterbacks, you rank the team. But there’s an interesting dichotomy. In the AFC, obviously at the top of the pyramid is Tom Brady. I don’t think anybody would argue that and no disrespect to Joe Flacco, but no one is going to pick Joe Flacco over Tom Brady. But there’s no question the Baltimore Ravens are a more complete team.”

Point Spread Too High In Ravens’ Favor?

After opening as nine-point favorites, the Ravens are now favored by 7 1/2 points over the Texans.

Is that too high, too low or just right?

ESPN’s Doug Stewart, Ryan Stewart, and Skip Bayless debate topic, and two of the three analysts say 7 ½ is too much.

Can you guess who thinks the Ravens are being given too much credit?

Quick Hits

  • Pete Prisco names one player from each playoff team who is playing under the radar, but will be a key factor in helping his squad advance to the next level. For the Ravens, Prisco says that person is safety Bernard Pollard: “He was with the Texans the past two years, so this is a chance to get back at his old team. Houston loves to run the football, especially with a rookie quarterback, so you can expect the Ravens to drop Pollard down in a lot of eight-man fronts. That plays to his strong point.” [CBSSports.com]
  • Receiver Anquan Boldin won a judgment of more than $280,000 in a lawsuit filed in Florida against his former agent, who Boldin claimed defaulted on a loan dating back to 2004. [Associated Press]
  • Was Tim Tebow’s winning touchdown pass illegal? The San Jose Mercury News argues that it was.  [San Jose Mercury News]
  • Home-field in division round is no longer a lock. [ProFootballTalk.com]
  • Former Ravens Quarterback Coach Hue Jackson was fired yesterday from the Raiders head coaching position on the first day of Reggie McKenzie’s new job as general manager. [ESPN]
  • The road to victory for the Ravens begins with the offensive line. [The Baltimore Sun]

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