As the Washington Redskins left the practice field on Wednesday, tight end Jordan Reed lingered a couple of minutes longer to run some extra routes and catch passes from quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Jordan Reed, shown here during training camp, has played just seven snaps this season. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

It’s how Reed often concludes practices, but because he has missed the past four games with a strained hamstring, he hadn’t done so since he’d been injured. The Redskins again classified Reed as limited following Wednesday’s session because he didn’t handle a full workload. But the second-year tight end expressed optimism, however, over the progress he has made and also said he hopes to play on Sunday if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks.

“Yeah, definitely. Shooting for Sunday,” he said. “Yeah, honestly. I feel like if I get everything done this week and everything goes smoothly, I can be out there on Sunday.”

That’s the most confidence Reed has spoken with since he strained his hamstring in the first quarter of the season opener. He has always hemmed and hawed when asked about a timeline for return, saying only that he can’t push the hamstring and risk further injury, or come back prematurely and risk a setback.

Last week, Reed took his first practice snaps since his injury, but remained sidelined for Monday night’s game. He said he noticed significant improvements both in his health and confidence level on Wednesday.

Reed said there remains some tightness in his hamstring, but that he believes he is close to full strength.

If healthy, Reed can provide Washington with another game-changing talent. His size and versatility make him a prime target for Cousins both on third downs and in the red zone, where Washington has struggled.

“Jordan is a major part of our offense and what we wanted to do from training camp on,” coach Jay Gruden said. “When we lost him in the first quarter of the Houston game, it put a little hurting on us. So, to get him back, if we do get him back, it is a great option for us, because he can win against linebackers and safeties.”

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