If Ed Reed is hurt, he should take a seat

Another day, another Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl defender reveals an injury. During an interview with a Baltimore radio station on Wednesday, safety Ed Reed said that he has a torn labrum in his shoulder.

There's one problem: The Ravens didn't list him on the injury report, which is a violation of league rules. So either the Ravens chose not to disclose the injury or Reed isn't really that hurt.

If Reed does have a significant shoulder injury, he should sit and take time to get healthy. A torn labrum could take about six weeks to heal. Not everyone will agree with this because of the current state of the Ravens' defense. Injuries have already sidelined Baltimore's best player on defense (Terrell Suggs), its leader on defense (Ray Lewis) and its best cornerback (Lardarius Webb). It seems as though the Ravens would need Reed more now than ever.

But the Ravens need a healthy Reed. They need an aggressive Reed. They need the Reed who was physical against the New England Patriots when he broke up a touchdown pass in the end zone with a hit.

Reed wasn't that player on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. There were times when Reed tried to push players out of bounds instead of tackling them, which allowed the Cowboys to pick up extra yards. He finished with three tackles, no interceptions and no passes broken up.

If Reed chooses to continue playing, he can't be as ineffective as he was Sunday. The Ravens need all 11 players swarming to the ball when they play the Houston Texans, who have the sixth-best run offense in the league.

Losing Reed would be another big hit to the Ravens' defense. But Reed playing at this level leaves the defense just as vulnerable.