As George Kittle was sidelined with a sprained knee in the 49ers' Week 2 win over the New York Jets, backup tight end Jordan Reed showed why San Francisco sought him out this offseason.
Reed always has had the skills of a star, and he looked the part last Sunday, finishing with seven receptions for 50 yards and two touchdowns. But after missing all of last season as he continued to deal with a long history of concussions, Reed feels he still isn't the player he once was.
"I feel like I'm getting there," Reed said Wednesday morning on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "It's definitely been challenging getting back after a year off from football. A lot harder than I thought it was gonna be.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time and trying to improve every day I get out here."
Reed scored his first touchdown since Nov. 18, 2018, and it was his first multi-TD game since Oct. 23, 2017. It has been a long time coming for Reed.
Through the first two weeks of the season, Reed has played 38 snaps on offense. He never has played a full season, with 14 games played being his career high in 2015. He had 952 receiving yards for Washington that season and scored 11 touchdowns. Reed was a Pro Bowl selection the next season when he totaled 686 receiving yards and six TDs in just 12 games.
Kyle Shanahan played a big role in getting Reed to the 49ers. Reed played under Shanahan in 2013 when the 49ers coach was Washington's offensive coordinator during Reed's rookie year. Reed said the 49ers were the first team that called when Washington cut him in February, and he couldn't be happier right now.
It has been a long road for Reed, and the 49ers are doing all they can to both utilize his skills and keep him healthy throughout the season.