Reed could bring a boost

If tight end Jor­dan Reed could stay healthy, he would be a solid op­tion for the Washington of­fense.

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY MIKE JONES mike.jones@wash­post.com Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/ in­sider

There’s no deny­ing that Washington Red­skins tight end Jor­dan Reed pos­sesses an ex­cep­tional skill set.

At 6 feet 3 and 237 pounds, Reed has great size to go with im­pres­sive ath­leti­cism and speed. Red­skins quar­ter­backs rave about Reed’s catch ra­dius and his abil­ity to make dif­fi­cult grabs.

De­fenses rou­tinely have strug­gled to find a way to con­tain Reed. Hav­ing played quar­ter­back, run­ning back, wide re­ceiver and tight end in col­lege, Reed boasts great ver­sa­til­ity. The Red­skins have lined him up as a tra­di­tional tight end or in the slot and sent him in mo­tion out of the back­field or have split him out wide.

How­ever, in each of his first two sea­sons in the NFL, in­juries have kept him from achiev­ing elite sta­tus. The for­mer thir­dround pick has played in only 20 games be­cause of a va­ri­ety of knee and ham­string in­juries.

In nine games as a rookie, Reed recorded 45 catches for 499 yards and three touch­downs. He ap­peared in 11 games last sea­son and notched 50 catches for 465 yards.

It’s hard not to play the “What if?” game when it comes to Reed. How much more ef­fec­tive would Washington’s of­fense have been in the red zone or on third downs had Reed re­mained healthy for en­tire 16-game slates?

As he en­ters his third sea­son, un­cer­tainty con­tin­ues to loom over Reed.

On­go­ing is­sues forced him to have a pro­ce­dure on his left knee this spring, and be­cause of it, he spent the en­tire off­sea­son re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing rather than prac­tic­ing in an of­fense that has un­der­gone some tweaks.

The Red­skins be­lieve Reed will be ready to go by the start of train­ing camp; the re­port date and con­di­tion­ing tests are set for July 29. How­ever, it’s hard to know whether or for how long coaches will be able to count on Reed.

Reed could have taken part in some of the off­sea­son work, but as a pre­cau­tion, the team’s med­i­cal staff held him out, want­ing him to be as healthy as pos­si­ble for train­ing camp.

Reed’s hope is that this sea­son rep­re­sents the be­gin­ning of new, healthy for­tunes for him. If healthy, he has the chance to bring sta­bil­ity and ex­plo­sive­ness to Washington’s of­fense while also es­tab­lish­ing him­self as one of the most dan­ger­ous tight ends in the NFL. He also would give quar­ter­back Robert Grif­fin III another re­li­able op­tion on third downs. How­ever, con­sid­er­ing that Reed hasn’t had a healthy sea­son since his ju­nior year at Florida, that could be a big if.

TONI L. SANDYS/THE WASHINGTON POST

Tight end Jor­dan Reed ap­peared in 11 games last sea­son for the Red­skins and notched 50 catches for 465 yards.

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