It was certainly one of the most interesting plays of the 2012 AFC Championship game. With 26 seconds left in the first half, the New England Patriots had a 10-7 lead over the Baltimore Ravens, and the ball at the Ravens' 10-yard line. On second-and-7, Tom Brady scrambled to the left sideline, and extended his leg as if to give Ravens safety Ed Reed a karate kick. Brady went down at the seven-yard line, and through Reed appeared to be favoring his hip area after the play, no flag was thrown. Brady was later fined $10,000 by the NFL for the kick. No harm, no foul, it seemed at the time, because Reed's Ravens beat Brady's Patriots and went on to win the Super Bowl.
As it turns out (or, at least, according to Reed), that kick was the reason Reed has struggled to see the field again. He signed with the Houston Texans in the offseason, had hip surgery seven weeks ago, and told the Houston media on Tuesday that it could be a while before he's ready to roll.
“If I go back to it, man, the only play I can look at is when I got kicked by a certain quarterback,” Reed said. “You know it happened, and Brady called me afterwards and apologized, but that’s neither here nor there. What happened happened and we’re moving forward."
Reed had five tackles, an interception, and a deflected pass in Baltimore's 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, and as he said, he was playing through a lot of pain.
“I played in the Super Bowl and you saw what happened there ... I had two MCL sprains, a second degree one in my left [knee] that happened in the Super Bowl in the first quarter and played through that. So if you've got any questions, I think that can answer your questions about my heart and how I play and how I work.”
Few would question Reed's heart, but it may be a while before Texans fans can see him play. The future Hall-of-Famer said that he wasn't aware that he would need surgery when he signed a three-year, $15 million contract with $6 million guaranteed on March 20.
“I knew there was something there, but it didn’t seem major at all,” Reed told the Texans' official website. “It was a slight tear, and we did due diligence on both sides – me, my doctor, Kap [Texans head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan] and the head doctor here. We all put our heads together to make the best decision, and that [surgery] was the best decision.”
The Texans hope that Reed can return to action sometime during training camp.
“We’re going to keep working out this offseason, and once training camp comes, I’ll have a better beat on it as far as my progress. Right now, I could tell you it’s going well, going really good. No setbacks. It’s looking really good right now.”
Reed will once again see the alleged cause of his injury when the Patriots travel to Reliant Stadium to play the Texans on Sunday, Dec. 1.