Baltimore gives game ball to Reed, whose brother is missing
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ed Reed's Ravens teammates awarded him the game ball after their playoff win Sunday, then Baltimore's Pro Bowl safety boarded a private jet to return home to his family.
Reed said the gesture was one of many examples of the support the franchise has given him since his younger brother was reported missing in Louisiana two days ago.
Reed, who had four tackles in Baltimore's 30-7 AFC wild card win over Kansas City, said family members and teammates helped him keep his mind on his job as questions remain about his brother, 29-year-old Brian Reed.
"My older brother called me and told me, 'Do what you do. You handle your business; we'll take care of everything over here,'" Reed said.
Brian Reed has been missing since Friday, when he apparently jumped into the Mississippi River after being confronted by a deputy sheriff in Louisiana in response to a report of a stolen car.
Karen Reed, the mother of Ed and Brian Reed, said investigators found her son's shoes and jacket. She said the car the man ran from belonged to another brother.
Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office said authorities were unable to identify the man who jumped in the river. Authorities eventually called off the search for him.
Reed said situations like his brother's disappearance were reminders that there were more important things in life than playing professional football.
"It's a child's game we play," Reed said. "It's not tough to focus on this stuff. Being around these guys helped me stay focused and going forward in life knowing God has got everything. I'm not worried about football. That's the least of my worries."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Reed was flying home from Kansas City on a private jet before rejoining his teammates early in the week to prepare for Saturday's playoff game at Pittsburgh.
"I think what Ed's going through, what the Reed family is going through, is a big part of this victory," Harbaugh said. "That's what will be remembered by our players. We're a family, and the Reed family is part of the Raven family.
"For Ed to do what he did under the circumstances and to play the way he played, to lead the way he led, that's just an incredible thing."
Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis said the players rallied around Reed while also trying to keep their emotions in check.
"It kind of hard to speak about that," Lewis said. "It's one thing to speak about a teammate. It's another to speak about a brother. Anytime you lose someone like that it just draws every one of us closer."