Blog Entry

Welcoming back key safeties

Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:04 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit

Week 7 is the week players can come off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Thus, the best ball-hawking safety in each conference – Darren Sharper of the Saints and Ed Reed of the Ravens – both returned to practice on Wednesday.
So will they play Sunday?"I wouldn't rule it out and I wouldn't say it's a definite," Sean Payton said of Sharper, according to Kristian Garic of WWL.

Sharper’s assessment was, "Yeah, if it went on my gut, I'm ready to play."

Of course, it doesn’t go on his gut – it goes on his surgically-repaired knee. The Saints want to see how that knee responds to a few days of practice. New Orleans has been OK without Sharper, ranking seventh in total pass defense. However, they have just four interceptions on the season.

The Ravens managed to produce the NFL’s third-rated pass defense during Reed’s absence, but, obviously, they’ll be even better off with the future Hall of Famer on the field.

Reed is coming off hip surgery, and he still has some nerve impingements in his neck and shoulder areas. He’s sore but expects to play against the Bills.

"I've been working out tremendously hard to come back from this surgery," Reed told Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun. "Like I said, I'm feeling good, but I've still got some things in there. We're going to play ball when we're out there."

The Packers also got their safety, Atari Bigby, back this week. He was on PUP with an ankle injury. Mike McCarthy has not said whether Bigby (or Bigby’s teammate, Al Harris, who is also off PUP) will play Sunday night.

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Welcoming back key safeties

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Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:27 pm

Welcoming back key safeties

I guess Ed Reed didn't have the heart to make good on his retirement threat.  Then again, if I was a football player, I don't think I could voluntarily quit, either.  Especially if I had played at Reed's level.

I think New Orleans and Green Bay will both play better on defense, even if the returning players aren't 100% (and really, how could they be).  Just having those guys back could spark the rest of the team.

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