Steelers kicker Reed expected to play against Vikings
Steelers kicker Jeff Reed, who was charged with several misdemeanors following a confrontation with Pittsburgh police outside of a North Shore bar/restaurant, will play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Addressing the issue for the first time at his weekly news conference, coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers are gathering information on the incident that happened outside of McFadden's this past Sunday night and resulted in Reed getting charged with resisting arrest and simple arrest.
The Steelers deactivated wide receiver Santonio Holmes for one game last season after he got arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Tomlin said the Steelers will not take that course of action with Reed because his arrest happened at the beginning of the week. Holmes got arrested two days before the Steelers' game against the New York Giants last October.
"His deactivation was not punitive," Tomlin said of Holmes. "It was done to minimize distractions."
Monday, the agent for Reed said his client will fight the charges stemming from the arrest.
Authorities said Reed, 30, attempted to fight Pittsburgh police officers hours after helping the Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns at nearby Heinz Field. It was his second scrape with the law in eight months.
A police report stated that Reed "squared up with (an officer) by bringing his fists up and going into a fighter's stance." Within seconds, officers gang-tackled the two-time Super Bowl champion and placed him under arrest.
Reed is charged with simple assault and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, as well as disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Donal Henderson, Reed's Atlanta-based agent, said the police report is untrue.
"You think he'd put his hands up to fight a police officer• You've got to be kidding me," Henderson said. "That's ridiculous. Jeff Reed wouldn't fight anybody, so we disagree with the police and what happened. We'll try to take care of it as cleanly as we can."
The incident happened shortly after 9 p.m., said police Sgt. Tina Davidson, when officers responded to an unrelated disturbance at McFadden's, a bar and restaurant near Heinz Field. While there, officers spotted a man urinating outside a white sport utility vehicle and began to give the man ï¿½ identified as Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth ï¿½ a ticket when Reed exited the vehicle, Davidson said.
"The officers told him several times to get back in the vehicle, but he did not listen," Davidson said.
The police report states that Reed "smelled of a strong odor of alcoholic beverage and appeared to be intoxicated."
Henderson said it is not Reed's "personality" to put up his fists, particularly to a police officer.
"He may try to talk him to death, but he's not going to try to hit him," Henderson said. "That's just not his personality at all. He's about as non-confrontational a person I know."
In other Steelers news, Tomlin acknowledged that there has been a changing of the guard at running back ï¿½ at least for now.
Tomlin said Rashard Mendenhall has passed Willie Parker on the depth chart.
Mendenhall has started the Steelers' last three games and rushed for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Parker returned last Sunday after missing two games because of turf toe. He rushed for 26 yards on seven carries in the Steelers' 27-14 win against the Browns.
"It's great to have Willie back," Tomlin said, "but Rashard has the hot hand if you will."
Tomlin said the Steelers are in relatively good shape from a health standpoint.
Mendenhall (bruised knee) and outside linebacker Andre Frazier (quad contusion) may be limited in practice this week but both are expected to play against the Vikings, Tomlin said.
Strong safety Troy Polamalu may also be limited in practice but Tomlin said the five-time Pro Bowler responded well after playing his first game since Sept. 10. Polamalu missed four games because of a sprained left knee.