"He's a leader, and Ed will be here. We're counting on Ed being here," coach John Harbaugh said last month.
Reed was not in attendance at Tuesday's practice, which makes him subject to (possibly hefty) fines under the collective bargaining agreement. We suspect the Ravens will not fine him, though, and it's possible they worked out something to let him stay away from practice.
Reed recently told the Carroll County Times that he planned to play in 2012, so we wouldn't sound the alarms yet.
UPDATE: Reed's absence was not excused, a team source told NFL.com's Steve Wyche later Tuesday. Harbaugh told the Ravens' team site that he has not been in contact with Reed, adding that "the CBA applies."
Another key member of the Ravens' defense, linebacker Ray Lewis, said Tuesday that Reed is merely taking care of some personal business and will be at camp eventually:
"I've talked to him, I talk to Ed all the time," Lewis said. "I don't expect nothing different, Ed is Ed. When July 25 comes, Ed will be here and we'll be getting ready to roll."
"Ed has other things going on, a baby boy and he's really trying to focus on things like that," Lewis said, according to the Ravens' site. "Sometimes life calls you away from the game and these three days won't take away from what Ed Reed's focus is, and that is to come back and help our defense be the best defense there is in football. I don't think it's an issue at all, not for us."