"That's what I am," he said after Monday's practice at the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "I'm a receiver. I want to be up in there."
Reed's quest would appear to be behind schedule as he joins a wide receiving corps of Anquan Boldin, Justin Harper, James Hardy, Brandon Jones and rookies Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams that has been practicing since training camp opened July 28.
It's well-known that Reed has been passed by Smith and Doss on the team's depth chart. Reed, who said he was unsure if he would suit up for the team's preseason home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday night, acknowledged that he has some catching up to do.
"Those dudes have been out here putting in that work," he said. "So I've got to come back and establish myself as being in there again. So I've just got to compete."
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron declined to assess where Reed stood among the wide receivers.
"We're going to have to make some decisions in a couple of weeks," Cameron said. "We don't have to make any decisions today. We'll let him improve, and let the other guys continue to improve and hopefully build some depth. We're putting together a nice group of young receivers."
In December, Reed tore a ligament in his left wrist and as recently as last week, he wore a large bag of ice around the wrist. He proclaimed that his wrist is "definitely back, and I'm full-go."
Reed, a fifth-round pick last year, did not catch a pass last season, but the former Utah standout led the NFL by averaging 29.3 yards and posted a franchise-record 103-yard kick return for a touchdown in a 34-28 overtime win against the Houston Texans on Dec. 13.
Reed figures to remain a fixture on the roster because of his prowess on kick returns, but if he can make some strides as a route-runner and receiver, he could increase his value to the team.
"I'm trying to bring whatever I can to the table," he said. "I'm trying to be out there to help the offense out, help the team out any way I can."
Rain forced the Ravens to move practice indoors Monday, but it didn't cool tension between players during the afternoon session.
Physical day at The Castle
During one play in a full-team exercise, right offensive tackle Jah Reid drove inside linebacker Jason Phillips to the turf. On the same play, right guard Oniel Cousins and rookie defensive end Pernell McPhee were swinging at each other.
The Reid-Phillips dust-up appeared to end before it even had a chance to explode, but the scuffle between Cousins and McPhee drew all the players into the middle of the field to either break it up or playfully leap on each other.
Afterwards, McPhee said Cousins instigated the incident.
"I almost fell on him, and he was like, 'Man, you almost fell on my knee,'" McPhee said. "Then he pushed me, and I was like, 'OK,' and I hit him.
"Just a long day with us. He was kind of frustrated, and he pushed me, and I'm a grown man. So I had to handle my business."
It was actually the second brouhaha of the day. An earlier exchange also incited a mob, but it occurred on the far end of the field and away from the media.
McPhee said he had never tangled with a teammate before during practice, but he said he would not harbor a grudge.
"We're grown men," he said. "We came out to play ball. For me, it's bygones because I had to line up and focus on the next play and go hard and go right after him again."
Cameron not worried about Yanda
Cameron said he isn't concerned about Marshal Yanda's back injury.
Yanda has missed all three practices following the preseason opener with a back injury. Cousins has been filling in for Yanda at right guard.
"He's one of the toughest guys in our locker room," Cameron said. "He's one of the guys you know you can count on."
Lawrence unfazed by personal setback, addition of R. Williams
Matt Lawrence's once-solid position among the team's stable of running backs doesn't appear quite as strong.
Coming off a 2010 campaign wiped out by a knee injury, Lawrence missed four days of practice last week and sat out the team's preseason opener last Thursday for unspecified reasons. Throw in the team's decision to sign Ricky Williams to a crowded backfield that includes starter Ray Rice, Jalen Parmele and rookies Anthony Allen and Damien Berry, and Lawrence would appear to have an uphill climb.
But the 6-foot-1, 209-pound Lawrence said his development has not gone off-track.
"I think I'm right where I should be," he said. "I think everything is working out. I go as hard as I can and let the chips fall where they may."
In addition to Yanda, Boldin and Hardy (hamstring), center Matt Birk (left knee), left guard Ben Grubbs, and Berry (unspecified) did not practice. Boldin and Grubbs watched practice from the sideline in what was likely a day of rest for the starters. … Seven-time Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed and offensive tackle Brady Bond (left calf/shin) returned to practice. Reed sat out Sunday's session in what was likely a day of rest for him. … The team signed kicker/punter Jake Harfman of USC to fill the roster spot of undrafted rookie defensive tackle Terron Sanders, who was released Monday. Harfman gives the Ravens an extra leg in training camp. … Quarterback Joe Flacco impressed teammates and coaches with his accuracy at the end of practice when he threw a ball into the small side opening of a trash can from 35 yards away. "You don't see that every day," Cameron said. "That, you don't teach." … The Ravens worked indoors for the second time in three days because of rain. Cameron said he understands that the slick fields could lead to injury, but the Ravens offensive coordinator would have preferred to practice outdoors. "We would be out in the rain every day offensively if we had our choice," he said. "I thought going in today was smart, and I understand why we did that. But we would rather be out in the elements."
Baltimore Sun reporter Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.