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Redskins will lean heavily on TE Jordan Reed in opener

Jordan Reed caught 50 passes last season for Washington. Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

ASHBURN, Va. – The Washington Redskins, already thin at tight end, might rely on two players Sunday who have been in town for less than a month – combined.

But if Tom Compton isn’t available to play Sunday because of a calf injury, then the Redskins might need to use newly signed Anthony McCoy sooner than anticipated. The Redskins signed McCoy Monday. They also have holdover Jordan Reed and Derek Carrier, whom they traded for last month.

Compton, a tackle, doubles as a tight end in blocking situations.

If Compton can’t play, then the Redskins would use Ty Nsekhe as the backup swing tackle and possibly McCoy as a third tight end.

“We’ve got to see if we can get him ready to play mentally. We’re throwing a lot at him,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of McCoy.

For Carrier, Gruden said the transition has been easier because he came from a similar offensive system in San Francisco.

“But there are some subtle differences in techniques, how you block outside zone, inside zone and some of the pass concepts,” Gruden said. “But he has picked it up quite well.”

That, of course, puts a greater burden on Reed, whose durability has been a problem the first two seasons. He’s missed a combined 12 games his first two seasons.

“We’re counting on Jordan quite a bit,” Gruden said. “His body is stronger; he’s in great shape. … We’re a little concerned [about the position] but Jordan is up for a lot of reps. We still have to protect him a little bit. He can’t play the whole 70-80 plays of the game. We have to get Carrier going and if McCoy can go, get him going.”