“That really aggravated the toe a lot worse,” Reed said of the shot. “The whole month of July, I couldn’t run. I couldn’t really walk. It just really set me back going into the season. So, it’s really just like a bad luck, bad choice, poor decision.
“I didn’t feel like myself the whole year. That’s why I had to get the surgery and have the bone removed. Now, I’m feeling 100 times better. It was the wrong choice, obviously, but everything happens for a reason. That’s what I believe.”
Reed ended up having separate surgeries on both big toes in December and February after playing six games last season. Injuries have plagued Washington’s most dynamic offensive weapon for his first five seasons, as he’s never played more than 14 games in a year.
Reed said the toes are doing “really good,” although coaches continue to ease him back as part of Coach Jay Gruden’s plan. He was extremely limited during the first workout, but was able to run some individual routes and catch passes from new quarterback Alex Smith during a portion of the session.
“It’s been a long process, but it’s finally starting to pay off and I’m starting to feel good again,” Reed said. “Feels like a 360 turnaround. I’m feeling a lot better than I felt last year. Much more explosive, much more stronger and just in better shape. So, I’m feeling great.
“It’s great. Feels like almost like being a rookie, I’ve been out so long. It’s really exciting.”
The Redskins are hoping for an offensive breakout this season with the additions of Smith, receiver Paul Richardson and running back Derrius Guice. Reed, with his 6-foot-2, 245-pound frame, is one of the biggest mismatches in the league when healthy. Former Redskins general manager and NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly called Reed the best separation tight end in the league.
Washington will need a healthy Reed to reach the offense’s full potential, so coaches are being extra careful. They have yet to determine when they’ll let him loose for an entire practice.
“I could tell a difference because with the toes, it was pain,” Reed said. “I had pain all season, all offseason. That pain was shutting down certain parts of my body that I needed. So, we removed the pain, now I’ve just been building my body back up and feeling great again.”
Year 2 optimism: Jonathan Allen expects things to go much smoother in his second season with the Redskins, and it has nothing to do with the Lisfranc sprain that ended his rookie year after five games. There were high expectations for the No. 17 overall pick, but Allen said the pressure he put on himself was a hindrance.
“I was so anxious to go out there and just play and overthinking things,” Allen said. “Now I’m just relaxed. I’m just doing my job and keeping it moving.
“The biggest thing I learned from not playing last year was just an appreciation of the game and missing it, honestly.”
Allen is fully healthy and playing alongside former teammate and No. 13 overall pick Daron Payne as the Redskins hope the duo will significantly improve the league’s worst run defense from 2017.
Play of the day: Receiver Brian Quick had the crowd and teammates gasping when he caught a touchdown from Colt McCoy that went for about 50 yards in the morning workout. The ball seemed to hang in the air and Fabian Moreau was in perfect position for an interception, but Quick undercut him, high-pointed the ball and sprinted to the end zone.
Number switch: Cornerback Quinton Dunbar is wearing No. 23 after previously wearing No. 47. Newly signed defensive back Prince Charles Iworah wore No. 47.