Hit Of The Week: Ed Reed levels Dexter McCluster, receives game ball (VIDEO)
Ravens S Ed Reed has long been one of the game’s most ferocious hitters, and most respected defensive players. But on Sunday, as Baltimore traveled to Kansas City for their Wild Card playoff match-up, Reed found himself with a heavy heart, and he wasn’t quite sure how he was going to handle it. You see, Reed’s brother Brian disappeared on Friday and is presumed dead from drowning after jumping into the Mississippi River while being chased by police in Louisiana.
After much introspection, Reed decided that his brother would have wanted him to play, and with his family’s support, took the field against the Chiefs with Brian’s spirit in mind. And during the second quarter, Reed took his emotions out on Chiefs RB Dexter McCluster, who was hung out to dry by Matt Cassell on this swing pass:
The hit came at a fairly critical point (on 3rd and 8 with KC moving the ball), and afterward, head coach John Harbaugh credited the play as the turning point in the game. In recognition of his effort, the Ravens also honored Reed with the game ball in the locker room, which made for an emotional scene post-game:
“This ball is for your family, in memory of your brother,” Derrick Mason said, as he passed the ball to Ed Reed, who choked up as he accepted it on behalf of his family and brother.
“My family will really appreciate this,” Reed said. “So would my brother. My brother would want us to beat Pittsburgh.”
Afterward, Reed said that he took comfort in the game and being around his teammates. He also said that his family helped him keep focused on the job at hand.
Sadly, the search for Reed’s brother was called off this morning.
WATCH VIDEO OF THE RAVENS LOCKER-ROOM CEREMONY AFTER THE JUMP
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