Off the Snap: Ed Reed’s status for Week 1 still very much up in the air
Catching you up on the latest must-read news and analysis from around the web…
• Will Ed Reed be in the Houston Texans’ lineup for their Monday night opener at San Diego? A little more than a month before that Sept. 9 date, no one is really sure of the answer — least of all, Reed.
The Texans’ new safety said he “really doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for Week 1 or not” on Tuesday after Houston’s first open practice of training camp, according to Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle.
“My expectations were right where we are,” Reed said. “Yes, we are a little bit above and beyond where I’m expected to be at this point. This hip wasn’t that severe as the left one, though it’s still tight at this moment. It’s going well.”
Houston handed Reed a three-year, $15 million contract this offseason, only to find out that he needed surgery on a nagging hip injury. The Texans did hedge their bet quite a bit in the draft by taking another safety, D.J. Swearinger. He may wind up starting in his first NFL game, if Reed’s unable to go.
• Players have been dropping with injuries left and right during the first week of NFL training camps. But that has not stopped new Chiefs coach Andy Reid from encouraging tackling during Kansas City’s early workouts, an unusual approach that not many teams employ at this point of the year.
“You play the game,” Reid said, per KansasCity.com. “You’ve got to be a good tackling team. Normally the good tackling teams end up playing [well early] in the year.”
So far, Reid and the Chiefs have dodged the major-injury bullet. There is still more than a week, though, until their preseason opener (Aug. 9, at New Orleans) and upwards of a month until the regular season begins.
Will Reid’s aggressive approach to practice backfire in that time?
• Mario Williams was back in pads and at Bills practice on Wednesday morning, one day after seeking out a second opinion on his sore foot. We still can expect Buffalo to play it pretty safe with its $96-million man.
NFL.com reported that the doctor Williams met with most recently told the defensive end that his foot “should be fine.” There’s still no real reason to push it in the coming days, even with Buffalo transitioning from a 4-3 defense to more of a hybrid front.
• He’s the other star of the Washington Redskins backfield, and Alfred Morris does not mind stepping out of the spotlight in favor of QB Robert Griffin III.
“Robert gets all the attention — I love it,” Morris said. “It’s kind of hilarious. I can be in the middle of signing [autographs] and they go, ‘Oh, there’s Robert!’ and take off running. And I’m like, ‘Oh, you’re welcome!’ ‘OK, bye!’ I don’t mind it at all. I’m enjoying it.”
While RGIII took the NFL by storm last season, neither he nor the Redskins would have had their same level of success without Morris coming out of nowhere to rush for 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Washington may lean on him even more early in 2013, too, as Griffin slowly works his way back into the lineup from the knee injury he suffered in last season’s playoffs. That strategy is probably a pretty solid one, given that Morris churned out 200 yards in the team’s 2012 regular-season finale and now has had another camp in Mike Shanahan’s system.
• So far, so good for Tyrann Mathieu. That’s the word out of Arizona, a few days into Mathieu’s first training camp.
New Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has the formerly troubled college star working with the safety group, for now, then sliding to cornerback in the nickel. There could be opportunities for Mathieu at both spots as the season wears on, and Mathieu’s success as a return man at LSU could push him onto special teams, as well.
Of course, Mathieu also has not played a game since Jan. 1, 2012, after being kicked off LSU’s roster last year. So, the learning curve may be steep in the early going.