Ed Reed reveals he’s playing with torn shoulder labrum

It seems every year there are a handful of teams that get bitten by the injury bug. Among the victims in 2012 is the Baltimore Ravens, who’ve lost three key cogs in their defense: cornerback Lardarius Webb and linebackers Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis.

If that’s not bad enough, there’s a chance Ed Reed could be next.

In a radio interview Wednesday (via the Baltimore Sun), the Ravens’ All-World safety revealed that he’s playing through a torn shoulder labrum, and the injury might be negatively affecting his play.

Reed wouldn’t say when or how he injured his shoulder. Aside from a minor thigh ailment in Week 2, he’s yet to appear on the team’s injury report, which is bizarre. It’s highly unlikely Reed would lie about such a thing, and coach John Harbaugh isn’t known to skew potential injuries (a la Bill Belichick).

In any case, Baltimore can ill afford to lose Reed, who, like Lewis, still provides an invaluable spark of veteran leadership and guidance, despite losing a step or two.

During the offseason, Reed played his usual see-saw game with the subject of retirement. One week he’d fail to commit to his team, while another he’d express desire to suit up for another half decade. He’s went on record as saying he deserves to be given a new contract, but that certainly won’t happen if limps into 2013, recovering from a major shoulder injury.

If he really is hurt, Reed’s in a bit of a jackpot. And, by association, the Ravens are, too.

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).