Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ed Reed expected to return by training camp

Clayton recovering from shoulder surgery

OWINGS MILLS – Now that Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has undergone hip surgery, he's in a race to recover in time for the regular season.

The Ravens are projecting the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year will return at some point during training camp.

Training camp is set to begin at McDaniel College in late July.

"He decided to get the procedure now to give the best chance to get back for most of training camp that he can and be ready to go for the season," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection had a torn labrum in his hip repaired. A floating bone fragment was also discovered during the procedure in Vail, Colo., where Reed is recuperating.

Reed injured his hip during the first week of last season and fought through the pain before being sidelined for four games in December.

"We’ll have to see how it progresses," Harbaugh said. "What we try to do with Ed is push it as long we could from a rehab perspective. This is Ed’s process more than anything. I think he understands his body better than anybody. He’s been driving this."

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis said he sent Reed a text message, but hasn’t spoken with him.

“When people go through that, you let them know that you’re praying for them and they’re in your thoughts,” Lewis said. “Outside of that, Ed will definitely reach out when it’s time for Ed to reach out. When you go through your surgeries, you’ve got to figure it out for yourself like, ‘OK, where’s my mindset?’

‘Then, you kind of get back into football mode. He doesn’t want to hear about any football right now. Right now, it’s about his health and getting back healthy enough to walk.”Reed has contemplated retirement, but is expected to return this season. He has yet to make any kind of announcement, though.

“I’ve never thought about not having him,” Lewis said. “It think that’s one thing that me and him have always kept each other accountable about. When that first whistle blows, I know 20 is going to be behind me. So, that’s all that matters.”

CLAYTON HAS SHOULDER SURGERY: Wide receiver Mark Clayton had minor surgery on his right shoulder, a cleanup procedure that will sideline him for the next three weeks.
"It was just a scope to clean it out," Clayton said. "I'll be back soon."

A restricted free agent who has yet to sign his tender, Clayton had the surgery three weeks ago.

"Just a minor deal," Harbaugh said. "He should be back for most of the OTA's."
Clayton hasn't been present for the Ravens' voluntary offseason conditioning program because he has been working on completing his bachelor's degree in communications at the University of Oklahoma.

A restricted free agent, Clayton hasn’t signed his one-year tender yet. He indicated that he plans to do so soon.

Now that he's back and recovering from the shoulder surgery, Clayton faces major competition from newcomer wide receivers like Donte' Stallworth.

"That's what we like," Clayton said. "We want to put as many weapons on the field as we can and leave it at that.”

SIDELINED: Besides Reed and Clayton, several other players didn’t practice.

That includes Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (pectoral surgery), nose guard Kelly Gregg (shoulder surgery), cornerbacks Fabian Washington (knee surgery) and Lardarius Webb (knee surgery), safety Haruki Nakamura (ankle surgery), defensive tackle Lamar Divens (hip surgery) and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps surgery).

“Lardarius and Fabian are doing well," Harbaugh said. "They are ahead of schedule."
Washington tore his anterior cruciate ligament in November.

He expects to be back by training camp.

“I feel pretty good,” he said. “The recovery is ahead of schedule. I plan to be there for training camp, ready to go.”

Washington said he’s regaining his old movement, but doesn’t want to risk hurting it again.

“I can run, cut, backpedal, I can do it all,” Washington said. “It’s just at a little slower pace than normal. I just can’t re-injure it or else I’ll definitely be gone for the year. So, I’ve just got to take it slow.”

The Ravens lined up Chris Carr as the first-team cornerback opposite Domonique Foxworth.

Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson (shoulder surgery) and wide receiver Marcus Smith (knee surgery) practiced.

TRYOUTS: The Ravens tried out veteran free agent cornerback Travis Fisher and defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery.

Fisher, 30, is a former St. Louis Rams second-round draft pick who has also played for the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks.

The 5-foot-10, 189-pounder has intercepted nine career passes and deflected 32 passes.

“I can give them my experience,” Fisher said. “I’ve played this game for a long time and I hope I can contribute here.”

Montgomery is a former Washington Redskins fifth-round pick who was cut four days ago.

He has recorded 78 career tackles and three sacks in four NFL seasons.

The Ravens are also trying out rookie defensive backs Wondy Pierre-Louis (University of Florida) and Brad Jones (Cincinnati), wide receiver Reggie Smith (Elizabeth City State) and veteran punter Jeremy Kapinos.

Alabama running back Roy Upchurch wasn’t able to tryout because he didn’t pass his physical.

UNDRAFTED CLASS: The Ravens announced the signing of nine undrafted rookie free agents.

That includes UNLV wide receiver Rodelin Anthony, long snapper Morgan Cox, Wyoming defensive end John Fletcher, Marshall safety Ashton Hall, Marshall outside linebacker Albert McClellan, Georgia cornerback Prince Miller, Boston College linebacker Mike McLaughlin, who’s trying out at fullback, Central Washington cornerback Courtney Smith and Memphis running back Curtis Steele.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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