By Teresa Varley
Kicker Jeff Reed will play on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings after the team had a chance to investigate an incident which resulted in Reed receiving multiple citations.
Reed was cited for simple assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness after a run-in with police outside McFadden's following the team's 27-14 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Reed met on Monday with Coach Mike Tomlin, as well as President Art Rooney, II and director of football operations Kevin Colbert. The team's policy with incidents like this is to first gather as much information as possible, which is what they did.
"The first thing we need to do is information gathering," said Tomlin. "That is something as an organization we have done. We have talked to all of the parties involved. Then we evaluate the situation and handle it internally. Always with the premise of we want to do what is right and do what is in the best interest of our football team.
"I am satisfied based on the information I have, that I have enough information to say he is going to play this weekend. The investigation is on-going; information gathering is on-going. This process will run its course, but I am not going to let it dominate my train of thought this week as we prepare to play the Minnesota Vikings."
Last year wide receiver Santonio Holmes was arrested when marijuana was found in his car during a traffic stop. The incident occurred on a Thursday night, and the team choose to deal with it the following Monday, rather than creating a distraction with a game against the New York Giants approaching. Holmes was deactivated for the game, but not suspended. The charges were also later dropped.
In Reed's case the team has the time before game preparation begins on Wednesday to investigate and deal with it, therefore keeping Reed in the lineup for Sunday's game.
"I really handled it in a very similar manner, that is our approach," said Tomlin of comparing the two incidents. "We want to minimize distractions, gather information and deal with it internally. Probably the only difference between this situation and Santonio's situation last year is the time of the week it occurred. We choose to deactivate him to minimize that distraction and continue preparation for the football game and dealt with his issue the following Monday. He missed the game for that reason, he was deactivated. His deactivation was not punitive, it was done to minimize distraction and to prepare our team to play a football game which was closing in on 48 hours. We are handling this in a similar manner."
Tomlin does expect the NFL to launch an investigation of the incident, the second one for Reed this year who was previously cited for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief in February.
"I think it's important we follow the guidelines laid out by the National Football League," said Tomlin. "That is what we intend to do. I am sure they are going to launch an investigation and this process is going to run its course. We're going to make decisions that are best for us. In terms of information that comes from New York, or steps in their investigation, we are going to cooperate fully like we always do. We have a level of commitment. We understand what being a part of the league is about. We respect the heck out of that. We will deal with it.
"I don't think it's going to be played out in that timely of a fashion. Very rarely is it ever. There are legal implications and so forth. I am sure their decision will be made based on the outcome of the legal action."