So much about the NFL comes down to getting a chance and when Ron Rivera chose not to sign Eric Reid to the active roster in early November, the coach essentially gave Jeremy Reaves his chance.
On Thanksgiving, Reaves made Rivera look good.
The third-year safety played a decent chunk of the defensive snaps for the first time all year in Washington's 41-16 Thanksgiving blowout of the Cowboys and came up very clutch in the third quarter.
After Terry McLaurin chased down Jaylon Smith to prevent the Dallas linebacker from scoring on a pick-six, it was Reaves who then registered a tackle for loss and a pass breakup to hold the hosts to a field goal. They were the two best plays the undrafted free agent has made in the NFL and couldn't have come at a more important time.
Afterward, Reaves reflected on Rivera's decision to roll with him instead of push harder for the more established and experienced defensive back Reid, who has a history with Rivera and seemed a good fit when veteran safety Landon Collins was lost for the season to a torn Achilles tendon.
"I know how this business works," Reaves said. "They easily could have gone the other route, but they believed in me. So, it's only right, when I get my opportunity out there to go put my best foot forward and repay coach in that way."
"Any time I get to step on that field, honestly, it's representing my family and another way of thanking coach for giving me a chance," Reaves added.
Just to pile on another layer to this awesome story, check out what Reaves tweeted eight days ago:
Turns out, his time was on Thursday, and the 24-year-old came through. On a day that was about giving thanks, Reaves certainly showed his.