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After week off, Jordan Reed feels 'a lot more healthy' and ready for Giants

After week off, Jordan Reed feels 'a lot more healthy' and ready for Giants

Ever since sustaining a separated shoulder against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Jordan Reed has struggled to regain his starring role in the Redskins offense.

After a few tough hits to the shoulder and an ejection for throwing a punch in the Panthers game, Reed did not practice or play all of last week.

By most accounts Friday, holding out Reed last week will work out for the Washington offense this week against the Giants.

"Definitely. It paid off," Reed said when asked if sitting out last week was the correct call. "It was all our decision together, and I think it was the right choice."

Reed missed two games earlier this year dealing with a concussion injury, but missing the Bears game was different. The word on Reed's shoulder injury was that the tight end would be forced to play through significant pain for the rest of the year, but against Carolina, it was obvious the pain got worse. 

The tight end took a few shots direct to the shoulder against the Panthers, some that looked intentional, but Reed does not believe anything happened outside of the scope of the game. In fact, Reed seemed to regret throwing the punch and getting thrown out of the game.

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"That comes with the game of football," he said. "I reacted wrong the last game, and I got to make the right choices, keep my composure in the future."

Arguably the best catching tight end in the NFL, Reed is a tremendous asset for Kirk Cousins on the offense. The shoulder injury has severely limited Reed's ability in the run game, and that will remain a question on Sunday.

"I took that week off and that allowed me to heal up some and now I can block and do some things in the run game," he said. 

Prior to the Cowboys game when he got injured, Reed had not played less than 50 snaps all season, per Pro Football Focus. In the two games he's played since, Reed has played just 26 snaps, and only has two catches. 

Jay Gruden spoke highly of Reed's recovery this week, even using some interesting language.

"Jordan looks great, man. He looks like a ballerina out there," the coach said. 

"He’s very light on his feet, running and jumping. We’re not doing a lot of contact now, but I think he feels pretty good with his shoulder."

Reed feeling better is good news for the Redskins, but especially if it means he can get back to his normal level of production Sunday against the Giants. 

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Who to root for in Week 11 if you are a Washington Redskins fan

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NBC Sports Washington/ Bob Youngentob

Who to root for in Week 11 if you are a Washington Redskins fan

If you are Washington Redskins fan, you're probably just worried about the team making the playoffs. You're not worried too much about how the rest of the NFC Playoff Picture is playing out.

Well with a 6-3 record you can be, and you should be, looking at how the postseason bracket will shape up. So we will help you out on which teams to root for this week. 

In a rare situation, the Redskins hold their postseason fate in their own hands. Win out and the team is the division champion at 13-3. With a record like that, there is the potential for more than just a division title. 

No one reading this is naive to believe that Washington is built to run the table the rest of the way. The NFL is not like that. At the same time most other teams won't win out either

The following results would significantly help the Redskins make the playoffs with a highest seed possible.

Redskins Week 11 Rooting Guide

Green Bay Packers (4-4-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (4-5)
Thursday at 8:20 p.m.

Ties are confusing when it comes to the playoff picture. To make it easier for everyone involved just keep Green Bay out of contention even though the Redskins have the tiebreaker over them. On top of that, the Seahawks have a worse winning percentage so it all works out to Root for the Seahawks.

Dallas Cowboys (4-5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

If the Redskins take care of business and win the division it will not matter either way. As a Washington fan though it's always easy to root against the Cowboys and it could boost that division lead. While the Falcons do have the win over Washington to carry them over, it would take the Redskins falling to a Wild Card spot to be an issue. Root for the Falcons.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) vs. New York Giants (2-7)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Neither of these opponents should be a factor in the Redskins playoff outlook. While there is one game left against the Giants, overall it should be a non-threat. Technically there are probably better odds for the Buccaneers to come back in the Wild Card than the Giants in the division, so Root for the Giants.

Carolina Panthers (6-3) vs. Detroit Lions (3-6)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Even with the head-to-head over the Panthers, Washington should not be comfortable that it will come down to that. Carolina is a good team, that not only is the biggest threat to the Saints in the NFC South, but is a team that currently holds the top Wild Card spot. If for some reason Philadelphia or Dallas makes a push for the division title some breathing room in the Wild Card race would be nice. Root for the Lions.

Oakland Raiders (1-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals (2-7)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4:05 p.m.

AFC vs. NFC. Cardinals are still alive in the playoff picture. Root for the Raiders.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) vs. New Orleans Saints (8-1)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4:25 p.m.

The Saints are two games ahead of the Redskins in seeding. Factoring in that New Orleans has the tiebreaker, it might as well be a 2.5 game advantage. Washington probably will not have a chance to surpass the Saints, but that lead in the division is not safe. Root for the Saints.

Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) vs. Chicago Bears (6-3)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 8:20 p.m.

This matchup is essentially a push. By a fraction the Bears have a better winning percentage, but there is more confidence the Vikings will comeback and have a better finish. General rule of thumb, never assume the future of a team. Root for the Vikings.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-1)
Monday, Nov. 19 at 8:15 p.m.

Does any reasonable person think the Redskins can pass the Rams? No. Could something crazy happen? It's the NFL so yes it could. No reason not to Root for the Chiefs in this one. 

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Updated Redskins offensive depth chart after Jamison Crowder's MRI, plus Trey Quinn news

Updated Redskins offensive depth chart after Jamison Crowder's MRI, plus Trey Quinn news

Nothing comes simple in the NFL, and for the Redskins offense, nothing comes easy either. The unit struggles to score, and the injuries continue to pile up on that side of the ball too. 

With a red-hot Texans team coming to FedEx Field this Sunday, the Washington offense will again be undermanned. 

Jay Gruden already ruled out six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams for this week's matchup against Houston, and the coach said there was a "pretty good chance" Chris Thompson would miss the game as well. 

Expect the Redskins to roll out the same offensive line that played for most of the win against Tampa:

LT: Ty Nsekhe
LG: Jonathan Cooper
C: Chase Roullier
RG: Tony Bergstrom
RT: Morgan Moses

Just because the same starting five will take the field against Houston doesn't mean there hasn't been more upheaval on the Redskins offensive line. Rookie tackle Geron Christian injured his knee in temporary work against Tampa and is now out for the season. That means the Redskins third tackle for Houston will be Austin Howard, who was signed last week. 

More importantly, it means right now the Redskins are living on the edge. Literally. With Williams already ruled out, Washington only has three tackles on the roster for Sunday, and both Nsekhe and Moses were limited in Wednesday's practice and are playing through a number of injuries. 

While things seem one injury away from a dire situation on the O-line, the situation seems more fluid at wide receiver.

Rookie wide receiver Trey Quinn got moved to the active roster on Wednesday after news came out of another MRI for Jamison Crowder.

Quinn was injured in the season opener in Arizona and moved to injured reserve. He's missed the last eight games but could give the passing game a boost, especially because it sounds like Crowder will miss his sixth straight game.

Gruden revealed that Crowder had another MRI on his ankle "to make sure that we’re not putting too much work on him right now, make sure he gets healed. We don’t think it’s that far away but we do probably need to take a little more time."

Asked if Crowder could eventually land on the IR, ending his season, Gruden said, "we hope not."

Not having Thompson and Crowder are two huge losses for QB Alex Smith. Kapri Bibbs has been a solid stand-in for Thompson, but it's not the same. Quinn now has a chance to help in place of Crowder, and in turn, let Maurice Harris get back to working in outside. 

For Sunday's game against Houston, Josh Doctson will start and play the X receiver position. If Quinn can get up to speed quickly and work in the slot WR role on Sunday, then Harris will lineup opposite Doctson at the Z position. 

If there is any good news, or at least stable news, Alex Smith, Adrian Peterson, and Jordan Reed all seem healthy. In fact, Reed wasn't on Wednesday's injury report at all, and Peterson said he's beginning to "feel all the way healthy."

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