Texans safety Ed Reed sat out the first two regular-season games, but it looks like he won't take a pass on facing his former Baltimore Ravens this Sunday.
Reed was "very, very close" to playing yesterday against the Tennessee Titans, according to Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak, but the Texans opted to give his surgically-repaired hip more time.
Head Coach John Harbaugh doesn't see that happening again.
"I think we'll have to assume that he's going to play," Harbaugh said. "We'd be surprised if he didn't play in this game."
Reed, 35, reportedly had arthroscopic surgery to repair a small labral tear in his hip early this offseason, after he signed with the Texans. It was his second hip procedure. Reed missed the first six games of the 2010 season after having reconstructive hip surgery.
But Reed has made progress in recent weeks. For the second week in a row, he ran full speed in practice, according to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain.
"The arrow's pointing way up right now," Kubiak told reporters Monday. "We're at a point where we're going to listen to him."
Now the Ravens have the task of game-planning against Reed, something that has given the other 31 NFL defensive coordinators headaches for the past 11 years.
What remains to be seen is how the Texans deploy Reed, and how good of playing shape he'll be in when he returns to M&T Bank Stadium Sunday.
"We'll have to fit him into their scheme, which in a lot of ways is similar to what we've done here, so it shouldn't be too hard to figure out where he's going to be," Harbaugh said. "And just kind of envision him out there playing the way he played for us all those years."