The joy of being in New Orleans for the Super Bowl is the same, regardless if a player will see playing time.
But it’s definitely has been unique experience for Lardarius Webb, Jah Reid and Jameel McClain.
All three were starters. All three will watch Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers from the sideline.
“It will feel a little bit different,” said Webb, a Pro Bowl cornerback who tore a knee ligament in Week 6 that ended his fourth season. “It would feel a tad bit better if I was participating in it.”
Reid was limited by a calf strain since training camp and it delayed his ability to play. He came off the bench for two games and started every regular season game at left guard since Week 11.
But Reid, in his second season, injured his toe in the regular-season finale at the Cincinnati Bengals. It came on the final drive of a meaningless game. The Ravens had clinched the AFC North the previous week and used mostly second- and third-stringers.
“When it happened I had a feeling it was pretty bad,” said Reid, who still is on crutches after surgery to re-attach the ligaments and tendons under his dislocated big toe. “It’s disappointing I can’t play in the game. Being able to watch my family go out there and play, it’ll be good enough. We all support each other. Multiple guys on (injured reserve), the practice squad, we all worked to get this team to where it is now. It’s a true team victory we all can be proud of.”
Jameel McClain’s season ended because of a spine contusion when he was making a tackle in Week 14 vs. the Washington Redskins.
His injury marked a low point for the Ravens, who already were without linebackers Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe.
“It’s bittersweet. It’s exciting to be out here with them. There are so many people on our team that deserves this. Everybody deserves it. The people on the 49ers, they deserve it,” McClain said. “We went through so much to be here. Three times to go to the AFC championship and now we finally here.”
McClain still hasn't been cleared for contact, but maintains he’ll be ready for OTAs and minicamp.
“I’m good. I can tackle somebody right now if you ask me. But the doctors do what the doctors do and I just wait,” he said.
Webb isn't having pity on himself.
“I feel awesome. I really hadn't been thinking about, ‘I wish I could played’” he said. “I’m enjoying it all I can.”
Reid was particularly emotional about this moment. He wasn't always sure he'd get this far.
“Everybody is so happy for me. So many messages on Facebook and text messages. People are proud of me and that means a lot to me,” said the Haines City, Fla., native. “Even though I’m not playing to have people out there, how I grew up, my past, they can see that I’m successful right now and going in the right direction, that means a lot to me.”