Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury that stemmed from an early season toe injury. Reed is working to get healthy enough to play again by season's end.
In his most difficult year to date in the NFL, Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has been sidelined for a good chunk of the season with a nagging hamstring injury.
Reed has missed Washington's last five games and did not practice on Wednesday as the Redskins opened up their preparations for the Los Angeles Chargers, puttting doubt on a return to the field this week.
"It's definitely challenging right now," Reed said on Wednesday. "I was telling them earlier, it's like this is one of the hardest times of my life right now that I'm dealing with. I think there's things in my past that strengthened me to get through this, and I'm going to just keep doing what I've been doing."
Reed has not practiced in any capacity since Nov. 8 when he was a limited participant. He's experienced a few setbacks since that day, but head strength and conditioning coach Chad Englehart has been patient with Reed as the tight end tries to ease his way back onto the field.
During his recovery process, Reed has kept a positive mindset despite the fact he's currently on pace for the worst statistical campaign of his career.
"[I'm] just looking forwards towards my goals and my dreams and focusing on that stuff and not just all of the negative going on right now," Reed said. "Also, just being appreciative of all the blessing that God blessed me with and my two daughters and my family, I get to see them every day. So, it's still a blessing to wake up and be a part of the Redskins. I'm going to keep working hard and keep doing what I can do."
Even when he's been active, the Pro Bowler just simply hasn't had the same production the Redskins have become accustomed to seeing out of him. In six games so far this year, Reed has just 27 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came during a Week 7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Reed missed the entirety of training camp due to a toe injury and although he was able to return to the field in time for the regular season opener, he was impacted by the issue.
"The hamstring is because of the toe and overcompensation from the right side, wear and tear and things like that," Reed said. "That's what caused the hamstring. But the toe thing, I guess that would be unlucky. It just came out of nowhere, so I've just got get it right."
Without Reed, the offense and quarterback Kirk Cousins in particular have had to adjust. While Vernon Davis continues to defy time with another 500-yard season in his 12th year, few can match Reed's production when healthy.
"Jordan is a big-time player for us and when he's not out there, it has an effect on what we do," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "Anytime you lose a player of that magnitude, as gifted as he is talent-wise, it's going to have a little bit of an effect. You know, Vernon and Niles [Paul] and [Jeremy] Sprinkle have stepped in and done some good things, but unfortunately, Jordan's doing everything he can to get well."
Gruden added that he hates that some have labeled Reed as an "injury-prone" player.
"It's just unlucky," Gruden said. "You know, he had a bad toe coming into camp, and then I think with that bad toe, he's tried to just put too much weight on the other leg, and I think that's affected his hamstring. Big thing is to get him back to healthy – whether it's this week, next week, or the week after, or in the offseason."