Torrey Smith, who replaced Reed in the second half after he lost two fumbles and drew a critical unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, said he hoped that Reed would be given the opportunity to return kicks this Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals visit M&T Bank Stadium.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs also expressed his support for Reed.
“He’s a young guy,” Suggs said. “He’s going to grow from this. He’s going to learn. But everybody realizes that you can’t put the ball on the ground, you can’t have turnovers. But we’re not worried about it. We know that David didn’t want to fumble the ball. It just happened that way.”
Smith and Chris Carr are just two options the team has on kick returns, and the team may use the upcoming week to hold open competitions for the role. While acknowledging that Reed’s confidence may have been shaken by Sunday’s showing, coach John Harbaugh expects Reed to bounce back.
“You can’t turn the ball over,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, hey, this is the NFL, and you’ve got to protect the football. He knows that. And he will, he will. David Reed’s a tough guy, he’s a competitive guy, he’s been there before. I’ve got a lot of confidence in David, a lot of respect for David. He’s one of our guys.”