It would be understandable if Ravens free safety Ed Reed retired for health reasons, former NFL players said this weekend.
Reed, 31, said after Saturday's 20-3 playoff loss at Indianapolis that it's "50-50" whether he retires this offseason. The six-time Pro Bowl selection has been dealing with an impinged nerve in his neck for the past two years.
"He has to do what's best for Ed Reed," said Trent Dilfer, an ESPN analyst and former Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Ravens. "If health is a concern, get out of football."
The most notable NFL players in recent years to retire in their prime have been running backs Barry Sanders, Tiki Barber and Robert Smith.
"Sometimes your heart gets in the way and you want to play this game, but your body never lies to you," said Marshall Faulk, an NFL Network analyst who played running back for 13 years.
Fire on the sideline
Joe Cool got a little heated during Saturday night's game. There were a couple of times when it appeared that quarterback Joe Flacco exchanged some words with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
"It's a divisional playoff game, and you want to go out there and win," Flacco said. "When you're not putting first downs together, it's a little bit frustrating. It's a fire that we all have."
The Ravens have the 25th pick in the NFL draft. ... The Ravens will hold their final team meeting today. ... Flacco became the first quarterback in NFL history to start every game his first two seasons and lead his team to the playoffs in each of those years. ... The Ravens tied a season low with 12 first downs. ... Interestingly enough, the Ravens had 2 more yards of total offense in Indianapolis (270) than they did in New England (268). ... The offense under Cameron hasn't scored a touchdown against the Colts in three games, a total of 32 possessions.