Ravens could be without Ed Reed for the first six weeks of season

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the New England Patriots during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Ed Reed (hip) will probably begin the regular season on the PUP list.

• Ed Reed, safety: The Pro Bowl safety is almost a certainty to start training camp on PUP. In fact, it would be surprising to see Reed play in the preseason. He recently said he is 35 percent recovered from offseason hip surgery. The most likely scenario is placing Reed on the Reserve PUP at the start of the regular season, which would mean he misses at least the first six weeks.

Ken Hamlin and Tom Zbikowski will battle for the starting free safety position in training camp and preseason. Hamlin has started in all but two games throughout his career, so he has the leg up on Zbikowski in terms of experience. But Hamlin’s production has decreased over the last couple of years, so it isn’t a foregone conclusion that he’ll win the job.

It’s a little odd that Reed told a local radio station in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago that he would like a new deal in place before returning to the field, even knowing that he’s doubtful to return anytime soon. Granted, he did say he wouldn’t push the issue until he was healthy, but he nevertheless has awful timing.

He still has three years remaining on the six-year, $44.4 million contract extension that he signed in the summer of 2006 – the same deal that included $15 million in guaranteed money. It’s not surprising that Reed wants to cash in one last time, but considering he’s not healthy and was even complementing retirement as recently as April, he’s not in position to be pushing for a new deal.

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