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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