RICHMOND, Virginia -- As Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed approached the defender, he needed to test his toe. So he did what he has done to many linebackers the last four years: he stutter-stepped, then broke out to the right.
It was a small moment away from where teammates worked -- and the defender was fellow injured player DeAngelo Hall. But the cut felt good, providing another step in Reed's recovery. He's on the physically unable to perform list because of a sprained big left toe.
"Right now it's feeling good," Reed said. "So I'll be out there shortly."
When shortly ends up being remains to be seen. Coach Jay Gruden said that the plan is to further evaluate him at some point after the second preseason game against Green Bay on Saturday.
Another help: Reed received new cleats and orthotics. He worked in them Sunday.
"It's the cleats more than anything," Reed said. "The cleats prior to this were more narrow and pressing on the bone that I had the fracture in. These cleats are wider and the orthotics are softer so I don't feel it."
The Redskins obviously want to be patient with Reed, considering he's their No. 1 target in the passing attack. Reed has caught a combined 153 passes the last two years combined, but has missed six games in that time. The intensity of his agility work has increased, though not quite to 100 percent. And he's not running routes at full speed yet, either. Typically he's gone at half speed. The one against Hall was a little bit faster.
"It definitely felt better," Reed said. "It's just time. They're letting me take my time to let it heal. Now it's feeling good. It definitely felt better."