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Offensive line play must improve among things Jay Gruden is watching against Bengals

Offensive line play must improve among things Jay Gruden is watching against Bengals

Jay Gruden did not enjoy much from the Redskins first preseason game last week in Cleveland. His team got embarrassed on both ends of the field, especially when the first-team units were out there. 

<<<Full coverage of the Redskins second preseason game starts on NBC Sports Washington at 6:30 p.m.>>>

Thursday night against the Bengals, Gruden will want to see much more. It goes without saying his highest priority is for no injuries, but beyond that, the coach needs to see improvement. Where?

  1. Who's on first? - For the second straight game, Colt McCoy won't play and Case Keenum will start at quarterback. McCoy's broken leg from December 1, 2018, continues to linger and it sounds like things have regressed during the last week of practice. It's a sad story for McCoy, the veteran backup that truly had a chance to start for this team, but Gruden didn't sound like he expected much from McCoy anytime soon. In his stead, Keenum will get another start. He looked fine last week in Cleveland and will hope to build on that performance. At some point, rookie Dwayne Haskins will get in and all of the DMV will live and die with each throw. It's a process with Haskins, but the potential is tantalizing. Give it time. 
     
  2. O-Line woes - Losing Trent Williams for a prolonged length of time is having a significant impact all over the Redskins offense, but it's showing the most on the offensive line. Adrian Peterson said it best about Williams' absence," When you're missing the best player on the team, you're going to feel the effect of that." The offensive line looked awful against the Browns, particularly the starting group. Against Cincinnati, the starters on the right side might play, and that could make a big difference. Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses will look much better than their replacements last week. On the left side, things remain very much in flux, but expect Donald Penn and Wes Martin to slowly take over the starting left tackle and guard spot, respectively.
     
  3. Guice remains on ice - Derrius Guice didn't play last week in Cleveland and Gruden revealed he won't play again this week against the Bengals. Guice hasn't played since a knee injury last preseason, and the word is he's still waiting on final clearance from the team's doctors for full-contact work. Coming back from an ACL injury is a big deal, and it shouldn't be a shock that things are taking this long. Still, Guice has looked good in camp and seems very eager to get on the field. 
     
  4. Penalties - Last week the Redskins had four holding calls in three plays. If that sounds impossible, reminder, it's not. The coaching staff was very vocal about cleaning up the little staff in the two practices since Cleveland, and that could mean fewer flags. The first half against the Browns took nearly two hours because of all the penalties. The crowd at FedExField might not last that long if a similar trend emerges. 
     
  5. Some good news - The strength of the 2019 Redskins can be found on their defensive line, and fans might get to see them flex a bit on Thursday. Some combination of Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, and Ryan Kerrigan should take the field against the Bengals, and even if it's only a snapshot of the regular season workload, it could be a solid taste of what's to come for the Washington defensive front. 
     

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A timeline of Jordan Reed's concussion, injury history

A timeline of Jordan Reed's concussion, injury history

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL at his position when he's on the field.

The problem is, Reed just can't stay healthy. The 29-year-old has missed the Redskins' first two games of 2019 and already been ruled out for Monday's contest against the Bears, as he continues to recover from a concussion he suffered August 22 vs. Atlanta.

On Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Reed's playing career could be in jeopardy, as he has struggled to recover from his latest concussion.

Here's a timeline of Reed's concussion and injury history, dating back to his college days as a Florida Gator. 

November 2010: In his freshman year at Florida, Reed suffered his first documented concussion in a 31-7 loss to Florida State. He returned for the team's bowl game vs. Penn State on Jan. 1, 2011.

October 2011: Reed suffered a concussion at some point during the 2011 season, but did not appear to miss any games due to the injury.

September 2012: The tight end suffers his third concussion in college, but did not miss any games for the Gators. Reed returned to action after the bye week. 

November 2013: As a rookie, Reed suffered a concussion against the Philadelphia Eagles. He would not return at any point later in the season, landing on injured reserve. He became close to returning multiple times, but the symptoms kept returning. 

September 2014: In Washington's season opener, Reed pulled his hamstring against Houston. The injury would force him to miss the next four weeks.

November 2014: Reed re-injuries his hamstring in a 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would miss the following week with the injury.

October 2015: In a Week 4 clash with the Eagles, Reed suffered multiple injuries, including his fifth documented concussion. He left the game originally with an ankle injury, returned, then suffered the concussion. He would miss the Redskins next two games.

October 2016: In a Week 5 matchup vs. Baltimore, Reed suffered his sixth documented concussion. He initially tried to play through the injury, but entered the protocol following the game. He would miss the team's next two games. 

November 2016: In a Thanksgiving clash with Dallas, Reed suffered a Grade 3 separation in his shoulder. While the tight end would finish the game (and score two touchdowns), he would miss two of the team's next four games with the injury.

September 2017: Reed suffered a chest injury against the Rams, missing the Redskins Week 3 contest vs. Oakland the following week.

October 2017: A hamstring injury Reed suffered against the Cowboys in Week 8 would eventually put Reed on IR, costing him the team's final nine games of the season.

December 2018: Reed would suffer a toe strain against the Giants in Week 14. The tight end would miss Washington's final three games of the season.

August 2019: In the team's third preseason game, Reed suffered the seventh documented concussion of his football career after being struck by Falcons' safety Keanu Neal. He has missed the Redskins first three games of the 2019 season and counting.

Source: Sports Injury Predictor

Monday's contest against the Bears will mark the 34th time during Reed's NFL tenure that he will be unable to play due to injury. 

If, and when Reed will suit up next for the Redskins seems more uncertain than ever.

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Jordan Reed’s NFL future reportedly uncertain as concussion issues continue

Jordan Reed’s NFL future reportedly uncertain as concussion issues continue

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was ruled out for Monday night's contest with the Chicago Bears on Saturday, as he continues to recover from a concussion suffered in Week 3 of the preseason.

Now, more reports are coming out about Reed's status. Not just for the upcoming game, but for his future in the NFL.

Currently trying to come back from his seventh recorded concussion dating back to his college football days, there is now uncertainty surrounding the continuation of his NFL career, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The seventh-year veteran's history with injuries is a long one. Despite showing flashes of dominance throughout his time with the Redskins, Reed has still not been able to put together a full season with no missed time. 

At his best, he's shown that he can be a reliable and explosive target for his quarterbacks. In 14 games in 2015 (his most played in a single season) he compiled 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. But, both concussions, as well as nagging issues in other areas, have limited him to just 19 games throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons and left the Redskins offense without a crucial piece.

As Reed continues to go through concussion protocol, updates about his status will be hard to come by. Back in Week 1, it looked as if the tight end would be back on the field soon, but it seems as if setbacks have clouded the timeline. 

Head injuries are serious, and if Reed's most recent concussion continues to cause problems, it looks as if a decision about his career could come to the forefront. 

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