The Redskins drafted Florida tight end Jordan Reed in the 3rd round in part to be an insurance policy for Fred Davis, who was recovering from his Achilles injury, unfortunately it’s beginning to look like the Redskins may need an insurance policy for their insurance policy. Reed has now missed the rookie mini-camp, and first two OTA sessions. He’s not expected to be cleared until after the final OTA session and mini-camp later this month. Though the current expectation is for him to be ready for Training Camp, the confidence level perhaps shouldn’t be too high. Even if Reed is healthy for the season his potential for impact this season is severely compromised.
Reed is recovering from both a quad injury and a bone bruise, described his injury to CSN Washington:
“I had a [thigh] contusion in college and that caused my quad to shutdown and stop working, which caused my kneecap to start moving around and banging into my bone, and that caused a bone bruise,” Reed explained. “As long as I get that quad back firing right, my kneecap will stay in place and I’ll be normal again.”
That sounds like anything close to a typical injury, which gives some concern to just how accurate the time table for return should be. Also, calling into the question of his time table to be ready by training camp is the fact that we’ve already seen that time table change. After Reed sat out the rookie mini-camp at the beginning of May, the general expectation was that it was minor and he’d only miss a couple of weeks. That left the impression that at worst he’d miss the first session or two of OTA’s, but that he should be back by June and getting in work during mini-camp. Those “couple of weeks” has now apparently become at least seven weeks. Now perhaps the team knew all along that Reed couldn’t participate in any OTA’s or mini-camp, but it’s not like there is a benefit in deceiving the media at this point in the calender. I don’t think the Eagles are going to change their week 1 game plans just yet. That makes it more likely that the team at least had some hope that Reed would be better by now, and that there hasn’t been the improvement that was originally expected. What is also unclear about this injury is just how likely a re-occurrence could be. Is his quad more likely to stop working if hit again than someone who hasn’t had this happen before?
The other real issue surrounding this injury is all the development time that Reed is missing. Even for a four year starting receiver or tight end, this time can be crucial to their development to see how much of an impact they can make in year one. For Reed this time is even more important given his history. Reed a redshirt Junior, spent most of his first two years at Florida as a quarterback prospect, he then moved to receiver before settling in at tight end for the past two years. Reed also missed a fair amount of off season time at Florida with injuries, which made him one of the more raw prospects coming out. He was already behind the curve in his ability to contribute this year, and now his status is really in question. For a lot of young players significant missed time during OTA’s and mini-camps is a big red flag for their production the upcoming season, for Reed there is no question the problem is magnified given how much he needed to learn.
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Between the injury uncertainty and the missed development time, Reed is not a safe bet to be productive this season. Whether due to injury or just lack of being ready, at this point Reed is unlikely to see the field much this season and will probably be a recurring inactive player each week. Now it is too soon to say whether this is a “bust” of a pick, as Reed will have three more years after this season to prove his worth, but it does leave the Redskins with some questions. Though he wasn’t going to start, the hope was that Reed would offer another weapon to their offense this year, and help improve the Redskins as they look to repeat as division champs. With Reed’s outlook questionable improvements to the offense could be in short supply.