Reed Returns For Week 3
By Emin Avakian
After surviving for two wins to start the season, the Houston Texans will face their biggest challenge thus far when they travel to Baltimore this Sunday to take on the defending Super Bowl Champions.
For Texans safety Ed Reed, it also means a return to the city he called home for 11 seasons and will be on the other side of the field than the franchise he helped guide to a championship level.
Reed has not seen the field in a Texans uniform through two regular season games, but did take on a heavier load in practice this week. Head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters Reed felt confident in playing in last week's tilt with Tennessee and will be a game-time decision for Sunday.
“He took a full-load of practice today, the most he’s taken,” Kubiak said. “We continue to move toward him playing, but I still say it’s going to be an end of the week decision. We’ll see how he comes out of this and how he comes out of tomorrow. If the progression stays the same, then obviously we’re real close.”
Reed holds the Ravens' franchise record with 61 interceptions, and his 1,541 interception return yards are the most in NFL history. If he does make his first start in Baltimore, two things are certain:
1) the Texans defense will be evidently improved
2) the Ravens faithful will give Reed a well-deserved ovation.
On the other side of the ball, Arian Foster is looking for a break-out game after limited carries through two weeks. The all-pro running back has continued to progress from various injuries and was a full partcipant in practice this week. Coach Kubiak eased Foster back into the fold, splitting the carries with Ben Tate, but with no lingering effects and with two games under his belt, Foster will be an integral part of the offense and will be given the responsibility he enjoyed in the previous seasons.
The Texans have overcome 136 rushing yards and one touchdown from their star running back. Undoubtedly, the offense will look more familiar and balanced in Baltimore.
The team is optimistic that Andre Johnson will also be part of the attack, as he is showing positive signs from the concussion he sustained in Week two's win over the Titans. Johnson is in the final stage of the league's concussion protocol which involves practicing with pads, and coach Kubiak is confident the pro-bowl receiver will be cleared to play.
Though undefeated, Houston will potentially be at full strength for the first time and if so, could result in a statement game for the suddenly overlooked Texans.