Jordan Reed knew he suffered a concussion when his head hit the field hard in Baltimore two weeks ago, but he played on anyway.
"Third quarter, I caught the ball across the middle and I got hit in the back of the head," Reed said Wednesday. "I kinda kept it to myself during the game."
Asked how he knew, Reed said he "had a pretty bad headache" but that he "just kept playing."
Scary words for any NFL player, but considering Reed has a history of concussions dating to his college days at the University of Florida, the words carry that much more meaning. Reed said that he has thought about his repeated head injuries, but he lets his faith guide him.
"It comes into my mind sometimes but I pray a lot and I got faith in the Lord that I'll be all right, that's how I think."
News of Reed's concussion did not emerge until three days after the Ravens game when he was not at practice. At that point, Washington head coach Jay Gruden said Reed entered the NFL concussion protocol, and he did not practice the rest of the week or play against the Eagles.
"The next day I was feeling all right and then with some exercises and stuff I was doing I started to feel worse."
Obviously, Reed's family is concerned.
"They’re always going to show concern and stuff like that because they care more about my health than anything, but I got to take care of my family so I got to do what I got to do," Reed said.
In May, Reed signed a six-year, $48 million contract that guarantees $22 million. In a way, one could argue Reed's family will be taken care of whether or not he steps back on the field. For an elite athlete and competitor like Reed, his mind works differently, even knowing that some NFL players have retired when faced with multiple concussions.
"That's their choice how they want to handle it and I got my own way of handling it."
Reed said that he felt good on Wednesday and was happy to be back out on the practice field with his teammates. He allowed that it's troubling he seems to suffer from concussions at a higher rate than other players, and he suggested it might have started at Florida, where he had "some pretty bad ones."
"It's frustrating that I’ve been dealing with it so often, but I just try not to think about it too much and just take it as it comes."
Though Gruden would not rule out Reed playing on Sunday, it seems a long-shot. For the season, Reed has 33 catches for 316 yards and two touchdowns.
"We’ll know more really after Friday," the coach said. "We’ve just got to continue to progress him along and see how he’s feeling after more of a workload."
Reed did hit the practice field in a limited, non-contact role Wednesday, but Gruden explained the tight end will need to be cleared by the independent doctor per NFL concussion protocol. Reed explained the Washington coaching staff is not pushing his recovery.
"They’re like my family, they’re concerned about my health," Reed said of the Redskins staff. "They don’t want me to go out there if I’m not ready, and that's what they keep telling me. They know I want to get out there and they’re just telling me to take my time."
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