After missing two games with a concussion, Jordan Reed believes he is ready to go.
“I’m good,” Reed said after practicing on a limited basis on Wednesday. “100-percent.”
To be sure, according to the NFL’s concussion protocol the decision to clear him to play is not in the hands of Reed, or even the team. An independent neurologist needs to give the final OK and according to Jay Gruden, Reed and Trent Williams, out last Sunday with a concussion, should be checked out today or tomorrow.
Assuming Reed gets cleared, the Redskins will get getting back a key weapon in their passing attack. At the time of the injury, which happened late in the last game the Redskins won, against the Eagles on October 4, Reed was leading the team in receiving with 24 catches for 295 yards.
The best part about Reed’s production is that it has been steady. Here are his game-by-game catch stats (receptions-yards):
- Week 1 MIA 7-63
- Week 2 StL 6-82
- Week 3 @NYG 6-96
- Week 4 PHI 5-37
Derek Carrier has started the two games that Reed has missed. Here are his stats:
- Week 5 @ATL 2-27
- Week 6 @NYJ 4-39
Anthony McCoy, who moved up to the second tight end in Reed’s absence, does not have a reception on his ledger. You don’t need any advanced statistical analysis to see that the team has had a drop off in production at the tight end position.
Reed hasn’t just caught passes this year; he has moved the chains. Of his 24 receptions, 18 have been good for first downs. Even with the two games missed, he still leads the team in receptions for first downs.
Of those 18 receptions for first downs, eight have come on third down. Reed is tied with Pierre Garçon for the team lead in that category. With Reed in the lineup the Redskins were among the league’s best on converting third downs with a success rate of 47 percent. In the two games Reed has missed the Redskins’ third-down conversion rate has plummeted to 33 percent. This analysis comes with a small sample size alert but it’s a good bet that if Reed can play he will help the Redskins improve on third down.
The Redskins’ running game has suffered in Reed’s absence as well with the team able to muster only 85 yards rushing in the last two games combined. It would be more of a stretch to think that a Reed return would be a cure for that. But he has developed into an adequate run blocker while Carrier is a liability there. When you’re looking for solutions, any little bit can help.
Again, Reed returning to action against the Bucs this Sunday seems to be a probability but it is not certain. If he returns it almost certainly will help the Redskins’ sputtering offense.