Redskins again turn to rookie TE Jordan Reed down the stretch

September 18, 2013

Jordan Reed appears to be working his way up the depth chart. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Just two games into the season, it appears that there could be a changing of the guard at tight end for the Washington Redskins.

With Washington in need of production and points in the latter portions of their loss to Green Bay, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan turned to rookie Jordan Reed as one of his primary targets. Reed responded by catching both fourth-quarter passes that came his way – including a three-yard touchdown reception. (Reed – Washington’s third-round pick this year – also made a catch in the second quarter and finished the game with three catches and a touchdown for 18 yards on three targets).

Meanwhile, starter Fred Davis, who finished the game with one catch on two targets, wasn’t targeted after the third quarter and played only five snaps in the second half. Davis blew several assignments, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, and it’s believed that those errors are what prompted Shanahan to go away from him.

First, the coordinator turned to Logan Paulsen, who finished with two catches for 13 yards on three targets, and then to Reed.

Reed wound up playing a position-high 29 snaps (48 percent of the offensive snaps) while Paulsen played 25 and Davis just 16. The team’s other tight end, Niles Paul, didn’t play an offensive snap but played 19 special teams plays.

This marked a reversal of roles after Davis played a unit-high 48 snaps followed by 25 by Reed and 17 by Paulsen against the Eagles.

It marked the second straight week that Shanahan went to Reed late in the game. With Washington trying to mount a comeback against Philadelphia, Reed made five second-half catches for 38 yards on six targets.

Asked about his late-game action, Reed said, “I don’t really know. I guess we were just in a lot of passing situations. It takes everybody doing their job on every play. I did have a couple things where I could do better on execution and that would’ve made a difference on third down.”

As noted in our story on the tight end position last week, the Redskins have a rather fluid situation with so many talented players and only so many snaps to go around. But if Reed continues to show his ability to prove himself as a sure-handed threat and responsible player, he could wind up overtaking his veteran counterparts as the starter sooner than later.

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

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Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Keith McMillan · September 17, 2013

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