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Posted at 9:02 AM ET, 01/10/2011

Ed Reed takes comfort in playing after brother disappears

By Cindy Boren

There really was no doubt who was going to get the game ball after the Baltimore Ravens' wild-card victory over the Chiefs on Sunday in Kansas City.

"This ball is for your family, in memory of your brother," Derrick Mason said, as he passed the ball to Ed Reed, who choked up as he accepted it on behalf of his family and brother. Brian Reed, 29, remains missing after jumping into the Mississippi River near New Orleans as he tried to elude police Friday morning.

"My family will really appreciate this," Reed said. "So would my brother. My brother would want us to beat Pittsburgh."

There was comfort for Reed in the routine of game week and in the camaraderie of his teammates. "This is, like I said, a child's game that we play," Reed said. "It's not tough to focus on this. Being around these guys helped me stay focused and going forward in life, knowing that God has got everything. I'm not worried, and I wasn't worried about football. That's the least of my worries."

Reed left for Louisiana after the game and Coach John Harbaugh said he has been given permission to return when he is ready.

The search for Reed's brother, last seen in the river, was called off Saturday. Reed had said Saturday that he knew his brother would have wanted him to play and he had the support of his family in Louisiana.

"My family kept me focused," he said. "My older brother called me and just told me: 'Do what you do. Handle your business. We'll take care of everything over here.' So like, I said, it was a matter of being focused, being around my second family, and then doing my job."

By Cindy Boren  | January 10, 2011; 9:02 AM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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