The Washington Redskins have their starting tight end back.
The team announced Sunday prior to their Week 6 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals that tight end Jordan Reed will be active for the first time since Week 1, when he injured his hamstring seven plays into the team's season opener against the Houston Texans.
A look back at tight end Jordan Reed's rookie season. In nine games, Reed recorded 45 receptions for 499 yards--both franchise records for rookie tight ends.
Reed – who is in his second year out of Florida – played in nine games with four starts as a rookie in 2013 before injuries ended his season. He caught 45 passes for 499 yards last season, both franchise records by a rookie tight end, and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
Earlier in the week, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden talked about the importance of getting a healthy Reed back onto the field as soon as possible.
"We're all anxiously awaiting his return and hopefully it will be Sunday," Gruden said. "But, like I said before, the most important thing is to make sure he feels good about his hamstring so he can really run. We don't want 50 percent Jordan Reed. We need 100 percent Jordan Reed."
Gruden said Reed is a "heck of a tight end."
"He's going to help us in all phases if he's ready to go," the first-year head coach said. "Jordan gives us another dimension with the passing game and obviously he's good enough in the running game so he's a duel-threat. It just adds to the mix. They have great corners out there with [Antonio] Cromartie and obviously Patrick Peterson so it's a matchup we could utilize if he's ready to go."
Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay on Friday said he was excited to see both Reed and tight end Niles Paul – who was turning in a career year in Reed's absence with 22 receptions for 319 yards and a touchdown through five weeks – on the field at the same time.
"It gives you a little more versatility because you got two guys that can run and put some stress on the defense," McVay said.
McVay said the gameplan changes little with Reed's return.
"I would say it's very similar," he said. "You feel good about him as a pass catching option, but you see some of the good things Niles has done this year and you feel really confident in both of their abilities, but I would say the game plan is very similar based on both of them playing."
The Redskins (1-4) and the Cardinals (3-1) are set to battle at 4:25 ET at University of Phoenix Stadium.