RICHMOND – Sidelined for the offseason after having a procedure on his problematic left knee, tight end Jordan Reed received clearance on Wednesday to practice fully, and as the Redskins kicked off training camp on Thursday, the third-year veteran declared that he feels “great,” and aims to finally shake the injury bug and help his team during a 16-game campaign.
“I’m excited, man,” said Reed, who has proven himself as a talented pass-catcher, but has failed to make it through either of his first two NFL seasons without missing time with injury. “My goal is to play all 16 games and help this team out.”
Reed missed four of the first five games of last season after straining his left hamstring. He then missed Washington’s Week 12 contest after straining his right hamstring the previous week.
Reed played the final five games of the season, but continued to experience pain in his left knee during the offseason, and so he said he received a kind of stem cell injection treatment due to his left quadriceps not firing correctly. Reed said that injury stemmed from the hamstring injury.
Reed continued to rehab his hamstring and knee throughout the offseason and now declares, “I feel 100 percent. I’m ready to go. Quad, hamstring, everything’s back to normal.”
If Reed can achieving the goal of playing all 16 games, it will represent the first full pro season of his career. An assortment of knee and hamstring injuries limited Reed to just nine games as a rookie.
When healthy, Reed ranks among the most dangerous tight ends in the league. As a rookie, he proved himself as a go-to player on third downs and averaged 11.1 yards per catch while notching 45 receptions for 499 yards and three touchdowns. Last season he had 50 catches for 465 yards, but no touchdowns.
That type of impact over a 16-game campaign would significantly help Washington’s offense, which has lacked consistent production both on third downs and in the red zone, where the 6-foot-2, 237-pound Reed would particularly come in handy.
Reed said he now understands what it will take to remain healthy an entire year.
“What I learned these first two years is it’s going to take a lot of maintenance and getting a lot of treatment, staying after and taking care of my body, listening to my body and focusing on playing my game,” he said. “I feel like I can give a lot to the team if I’m out there every week. I can make some mismatch problems.”