Tight end Jordan Reed's injury history in his first two seasons should cause fingers to be crossed now that he signed a lucrative contract extension. Health remains his biggest obstacle and the Washington Redskins' biggest concern.
But the Redskins are betting -- hoping -- that what they received last season from Reed will continue in the future. After missing a combined 12 games his first two seasons, Reed missed just two this past fall. Throughout his career the injuries have been numerous, sometimes causing him just to miss practice. He’s dealt with quad and knee issues, hamstrings and concussions (three).
The Redskins clearly don’t see it as a huge issue after last season, giving him a five-year contract extension worth $9.4 million per year and with $22 million guaranteed.
"My agent told me mostly everything was positive [in negotiations]," Reed said. "And, you know, when I talk to these guys nowadays, it really doesn’t come up."
That’s why he’s sticking to his offseason workout regimen that he began last season, when he trained in Miami for two months before the Redskins began their sessions. And then he trained in Houston after the Redskins' final minicamp.
"It helped me a lot, put a lot of muscle on me," Reed said.
It’s safe to say his presence makes a difference. But just in case you didn’t realize that, here’s what the numbers say: In his first three seasons, quarterbacks had a 94.0 passer rating when he was on the field, completing 68.6 percent of their passes for 34 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Last season, quarterback Kirk Cousins posted a 111.8 passer rating with Reed in the game, completing 71.8 percent of his throws with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions. He averaged 8.14 yards per pass attempt.
"I just feel like Kirk is a real accurate passer, man, he also can read the defense really well," Reed said. "He did excellent last season at doing that. I feel like I can create separation for him and get open, timing, where he needs me to be and things like that. I think those are some reasons why we were effective last year."
When Reed wasn’t in the game last season, Cousins stats plummeted: a 73.8 passer rating, five touchdowns, seven interceptions and 6.38 yards per pass attempt.
Over the past three seasons combined without him on the field, quarterbacks have a cumulative 83.4 rating, have completed 61.2 percent of their passes with 34 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.
The Redskins needed to keep Reed around, preventing a run at free agency. Another big season could have escalated his price and made it tougher on them. Now they just need to make sure he stays on the field.
"I just want to move on," Reed said, "and show that I can play 16 games."