Jordan Reed missed last week's OTA sessions for the Redskins after undergoing knee surgery, and is not expected back for Washington until training camp next month. For in-tune Redskins fans, Reed missing time comes as no surprise. In two seasons with the Redskins, Reed has suited up in 20 out of 32 games.
Reed has missed time with a variety of ailments - knee, ankle, concussions, hamstrings - the list is long. For a young player at a position that demands physical play, Reed has proven to be hard to count on. Beyond the 12 games in two years he couldn't play, another handful saw Reed exit early after re-aggravating injuries or developing new ones.
That is not to say Reed lacks talent, in fact, he has lots of it. When healthy Reed can produce like a top-flight tight end. He showed that his rookie year when in back to back weeks he caught 17 balls for more than 200 yards and a TD. Last year, he again showed a glimpse of his talent in a nine catch, 123 yard performance in a late November loss to the Colts.
Nobody questions the talent, but at what point must the Redskins brass consider Reed a liability? Niles Paul lands second on the tight end depth chart, and while he does not have the same talent as Reed, Paul is durable. In four seasons with Washington, Paul has missed just four games, including zero last season. Given the most offensive opportunities of his career, 2014 also marked Paul's best year as a pass catcher. He went for over 500 yards receiving and a touchdown, catching passes from three different QBs.
Paul has size and speed, though not the best hands for a starting tight end. With Reed rehabbing a knee in June and a history of injury trouble, is it time for Redskins coach Jay Gruden to think of Paul as the starter at tight end? Let us know what you think in the comments.