ASHBURN, Va. -- The future doesn’t register right now for Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed. He’s worried about right now and, right now, he’s ready to return to football. That’s why he practiced Wednesday, running routes against defenders and looking like his old self.
He’s coming off his fourth concussion, but his main concern is getting ready for Sunday’s game vs. Tampa Bay. Reed missed the last two games because of the injury -- it’s the third time in the NFL that he’s had a concussion. The long-term effects don’t weigh on him.
“I just leave it in God’s hands,” Reed said. “If that’s what my fate is supposed to be later in life, that’s what it’s going to be. I try not to think about that or dwell on it.”
Two years ago he missed six games because of a concussion. He’ll hear about it from his mother and other family members, but he also knows the alternative to playing isn’t an option.
“My family is real supportive,” Reed said. “They get worried, but I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. I’m a grown man. I have to make my own choices.”
The Redskins, of course, will be glad to have him back in the game if he can indeed play. Though Reed participated in individual work, he was still unable to take part in team drills. And he still must be cleared for contact.
But when he can return, the Redskins will return a key part of their offense. Reed caught 24 passes with one touchdown in the first four games. He caught nine passes on third down, converting eight into first downs. In the first four games of the season, with Reed in the lineup, the Redskins were fourth in the NFL at converting third downs (46.8 percent). The past two weeks without him, they’ve converted 33.3 percent.
“He’s a mismatch no matter how you cut it,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “You could put a corner on him and then that’ll leave somebody else open. If you put a safety on him, he wins. ... You look at other teams with very good tight ends, when they’re in the game and the problems they cause for an opposing [defense], you can see it.”
Reed would be helpful against any team, but the Bucs like to play certain looks that are conducive to routes the Redskins like him to run. However, he must be healthy. Reed at least feels optimistic because he said this concussion wasn’t as bad as his one in 2013.
He also said he’s 100 percent and that he’ll definitely play Sunday.
“It’s frustrating when I can’t help out the team,” Reed said. “I’m a good player and I can help the team win.”