When Jordan Reed is healthy, he is one of the best tight ends in football. That is not a question. The problem with Reed is that he has simply not been able to stay on the field throughout the majority of his career, and that has hurt the Washington Redskins significantly.
If the Redskins want to be anything more than a cellar dweller in what is clearly a rebuilding year in 2019, Reed will have to be able to remain healthy and provide whoever is the starting quarterback with a dependable target.
This past season, Reed played in 13 games, which is actually a rather large number for him. During that time, he hauled in 54 receptions for 558 yards and a couple of touchdowns, and while that is hardly elite production, it’s still really good, especially when you consider that Reed missed three contests.
But that isn’t enough.
For a Redskins team that is very thin at wide receiver, they need everything they can get from Reed, who is the most reliable pass-catcher on the team, and if rookie Dwayne Haskins ends up winning the starting job under center, Reed is going to need to be there to provide Haskins with a security blanket.
Washington’s receiving corps is among the worst—if not the worst—in the NFL.
The Redskins lost Jamison Crowder to the New York Jets in free agency, meaning that Josh Doctson is essentially their No. 1 receiver right now. The same Josh Doctson who totaled 532 yards this past season.
Otherwise, Washington has Paul Richardson and rookies Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon.
So, you can see why the Redskins really need Reed to avoid injury in 2019. If Reed ends up missing some time again, Washington’s passing game is going to suffer severely, as it’s not even like the Redskins have any running backs who are good receivers.
Just imagine how rough of a time Haskins is going to have without a healthy Reed. It won’t be a pretty sight.
Washington needs the Reed it had back in 2015, when he participated in 14 games and hauled in 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns; not the Reed who has played in just 19 games combined the last two seasons.
Believe it or not, Reed has actually never played a full 16-game campaign over the course of his six-year NFL career, with his 14-game run in 2015 representing his most complete season.
At the very least, the Redskins need him to get back to that point, where is consistently on the gridiron and giving his quarterback a regular target.
We all love to talk about Haskins’ immense talent, and he is certainly gifted, but it might not matter if Washington doesn’t have any receivers for him to throw the ball to.
This is not just for the Redskins’ sake in 2019, as they are almost certainly not going to the playoffs regardless of what happens. This is also for Haskins’ future, as a good season for him would go a long way in establishing his confidence in the NFL. However, a bad year could do just the opposite, and unfortunately for Haskins, it is not entirely within his control.
Washington needs Reed to stay healthy and step up in 2019 for more reasons than one.