The annual "is Ed Reed retiring?" discussion is over. In an interview with ComcastSportsNet's Brent Harris, Reed announced that he'll be playing for the Baltimore Ravens once again in 2012.
His reasons for returning are admirable, though one has to wonder how much more Reed has in the tank. He's suffered a number of injuries over the years and is entering his 11th season. Though he played in all 16 regular season games in 2011, he missed a combined eight regular season games in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Regardless, he's widely-viewed as one of the leaders on the team and they're have to be thrilled to have him back.
So, the seemingly-ageless Ravens defense will remain intact for the 2012 season and continue to terrorize the rest of the AFC North division. It's likely that players that are long in the tooth like Reed and Ray Lewis keep coming back to pursue that ever-elusive Super Bowl championship. They should feel like they're close, as the Ravens lost in the 2011 AFC Championship game last year to the New England Patriots.
Stay tuned later this week, as Reed may have a different answer for us about his retirement. Whenever he does finally call it quits, he's a shoe-in for the NFL Hall of Fame.