But Ed Reed being injured in August is an NFL tradition unlike any other and following a surgical procedure on his hip, Reed missed training camp. So where does he stand now? Well Reed told NFL Network's Deion Sanders Monday that he's "75 to 80 percent" at the moment.
"I'm getting there," Reed said. "I'm probably 75 or 80 percent right now."
Reed also made a few interesting comments about his status for the opener and how he wants to manage his body for the "long haul," noting that he would play today if it was the Super Bowl but not if it was a Week 1 2013 NFL opener.
I wouldn't play today. I wouldn't play because of the long haul of the season. You know how much of a grind that is," Reed said. "When we gotta make that run at the end of the season, that's when I plan to be there, more importantly. Do I want to be at the first game? Yes. Am I glad it's not today? Yes. If the Super Bowl was today, I'm playing. We still got a lot of time and honestly I feel good today. I feel a lot better than I did yesterday. Right now I'm recovering, took the day off, feeling good, moving good.
"Like I told coach, I can probably be out here, but it probably wouldn't be smart."
Look, Reed's gonna get healthy enough to play most of the year. And the way he's approaching 2013 is actually smart when it comes to the Texans long-term prospects. They'd love to have him healthy for the entire season but Houston's biggest issue is keeping up momentum going into the playoffs (provided they make it, which I think they should).
Two more nuggets worth discussing re: Reed? One, he's apparently been an outstanding "coach" type player for the Texans, with Wade Phillips calling him perhaps the smartest mental player he's ever dealt with. That's high, high praise.
And secondly, by all accounts rookie safety D.J. Swearinger, who would replace Reed on the field if the veteran misses time, has looked pretty darn good for the Texans. He's a hard-hitting, talented player who's got a pretty good mentor in Reed and it stands to reason that he'll make an impact if Reed can't go.
Given Reed's history of recovering from preseason injuries and making an impact right away, though, it would be foolish to count out the veteran safety when it comes to starting Week 1.