It was quite a busy day in the AFC North on Wednesday. The Baltimore Ravens visited the White House and signed inside linebacker Daryl Smith. The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Ben Roethlisberger was having knee surgery. And Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson tried to set the record straight on his shin injury. All I know is today will be smoother for me because I won't have to fight traffic going back and forth to Washington like I did yesterday. Here's your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Ed Reed returned to go with his former teammates on their visit to the White House, but the safety may not see them on the field this season. Even though Reed doesn't play for the Ravens anymore, he told the team's website that there's a chance he won't be able to play in the Week 3 (Sept. 22) game between the Houston Texans and the Ravens. “I plan on being back for Week 1,” Reed said. “But as you’ve known me for the longest time, I’m going to be smart about my injuries and make sure I’m there for the later part of the season when the team really needs me.” Reed had a hip procedure this offseason after signing with the Texans in free agency. In 2010, he started the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after having hip surgery and led the NFL in interceptions that season despite missing the first six games.
BENGALS: One of the biggest questions on the team is who'll start at strong safety. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Taylor Mays has been taking snaps with the first-team defense but rookie third-round pick Shawn Williams and Jeromy Miles will also compete for the job. “They all bring something different to the table," cornerback Leon Hall said. "The biggest part for all of them is just making sure they know the playbook front and back. That frees you up to just play. The game moves a lot slower when you can do that. It’s one of those things you want to learn to where you hear it in the call and you just think about it real quick and it’s gone and you can start focusing on the offense.”
STEELERS: While finding out your starting quarterback is having surgery is never good news, a source close to the team told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the doctor found Ben Roethlisberger's right knee to be otherwise healthy during the arthroscopic procedure, which he called "encouraging." The source added: "The scare is that when you go in, you discover it's worse," the source said. "His is not; it's very, very healthy and encouraging on that regard." The Steelers believe Roethlisberger will be ready for training camp in late July, so there is not much concern over this surgery.
BROWNS: In what has become daily updates on Trent Richardson's right shin injury, the running back disputed an ESPN Radio in Cleveland report that he won't be ready for the start of training camp, which begins at the end of next month. "I still expect to be out there day one,” Richardson said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “People are saying I’ve got another injury, and it’s farther than what people are saying it is. And no it’s not. Coach got me out for precautionary reasons. It’s nothing that big to worry about.” ESPN Radio in Cleveland reported this week that Richardson will be sidelined until August because the team fears his injury could develop into a stress fracture.