Much like a good condiment, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed gives his team a little something extra when he's on. And in Sunday's victory over the Buccaneers, #86 was certainly on.
After sitting out his team's last two games with a concussion, Reed made a triumphant return to Washington's offense when they needed him most. The 25-year-old was targeted 13 times, hauled in 11 passes for 72 yards, and scored twice, including the game-winner, a six yard slant with 24 seconds to go. He said he didn't feel any extra pressure to perform in his comeback, however, even though he's become an X-factor for Jay Gruden's group.
"Just go out there, do my job, be ready for my teammates and take advantage of my opportunities," Reed said post game when asked if his mindset was any different versus Tampa Bay, making it seem like he treated Week 7 just like any other.
Reed may say he didn't feel a difference, but Gruden said he certainly saw one in his offense with the third-year pro back in the fold.
"We feel like it's a tough deal for a defensive coordinator and defenses to deal with him," the head coach said. "And you can see what type of impact he has on our offense when we are rolling."
Both of Reed's touchdowns were on quick strikes from Cousins with the 'Skins near the goal line. The tight end said his quarterback will look to him in the red zone when teams try to cover him one-on-one, and Gruden said that's a situation he prefers, too.
"When they play man, we like the matchup," he said. "He did a good job of winning man-to-man match ups, whether it's under-routes or slant-routes, like he did at the end of the game."
On the year, Reed now has 35 receptions for 350 yards and three TDs. When healthy, he's been the Burgundy and Gold's most reliable receiver, and on Sunday, he made the contest's most important play. For someone who talked about taking advantage of his opportunities, you have to assume he's pretty happy with his performance. Gruden, Cousins, and the Redskins portion of the 72,912 people who came out to FedEx Field certainly were.