As Ray Lewis enters his last home game at M&T Bank Stadium, it could spell the end for Ed Reed, too.
The 11th-year safety has bypassed questions in the last week about if his tenure with the Ravens is ending.
While Lewis decided to retire by making it official Wednesday and will walk out on his own terms, Reed could be allowed to just walk away.
He doesn’t have a contract beyond this season and hinted that his desire to coach his sons playing football could hasten his decision.
Lewis, who is returning from a triceps tear for a wild-card playoff game vs. the Indianapolis Colts, will be playing his last home game. If the Ravens lose, his 17-year career comes to an immediate end.
Lewis’ desire to be with his sons –- Ray III is going to the University of Miami on a football scholarship in the fall –- was a motivating factor.
“Family is No. 1. My son is young, but like I said, I am not thinking about that right now,” Reed said. “Maybe later in the offseason, sometime, I’ll start thinking about that stuff.”
Reed has been bothered by torn cartilage in his shoulder since Week 3. He tied for the team-high with 4 interceptions and has a career-high 3 fumble recoveries.
The Colts have receiver Reggie Wayne, who was Reed's roommate at the University of Miami. Wayne has a 106 catches for 1,355 yards and 5 TDs.
They're having dinner Saturday before the game.
"One of us has to win and one has to lose. Neither one of us want to be on that losing side," Reed said.
They helped make each other better at Miami, where Lewis played before them.
"I hate playing him. I think he feels the same way because we text each other like, 'Here we go again.' It brings you back home to those Hurricanes days," Reed said. "Reggie is like a brother who taught me how to cover. Me and him used to run a lot of one-on-ones. When guys were gone, me and Reggie used to go against each other, sometimes without a ball.
"It's brother against brother. It's a great moment."
As much as he owes to Wayne, Reed owes plenty to Lewis, too. Reed recently was named to his ninth Pro Bowl.
"To be part of Ray Lewis' career in my 11 years here with him, it's been amazing," Reed said. "I'm nothing without the D-line and the linebackers. Without Ray, my career probably is not the same."