Ed Reed plans to return, Ravens say

Updated: February 25, 2012, 6:59 PM ET
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome confirmed that Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed will play in 2012.

Reed, who turns 34 when the season begins, has been considering retirement every year since the end of the 2008 season because of a nerve impingement in his neck and shoulder.

He didn't speak to reporters following Baltimore's loss in the AFC Championship Game in New England. And Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, speaking at an end-of-season news conference Feb. 1, said the team had not received a definitive answer from Reed on whether he was returning.

"He told [Ravens coach] John [Harbaugh] that he's going to get himself prepared to come back and play in 2012," Newsome said at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Reed is the Ravens' franchise leader with 57 career interceptions, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2002. He is an eight-time Pro Bowl player and was the NFL's defensive player of the year in 2004.

But Reed dealt with one of his most disappointing seasons last year.

He finished with three interceptions, his fewest in a 16-game season, and he acknowledged that he missed tackles in four straight games at the end of the season because of a shoulder injury.

"Ed is so far along in his career that you've got to respect what he's done and you leave that in his hands," Harbaugh told reporters at the combine.

Information from ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley was used in this report.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter