When Jordan Reed was healthy as a rookie last season with the Washington Redskins, he showed his decision to leave Florida early for the NFL had been the right one.
He caught 45 passes for 499 yards, second among rookie tight ends, and received All-Rookie honors.
All that in just nine games played.
Reed missed a total of seven games in 2013, including the final six of the season due to symptoms from the concussion he sustained in Week 11.
Reed, who had two concussions at UF, tried to play the next two games after giving it a go in practice.
“Some games,” Reed told The Washington Times this week, “I wasn’t being completely honest in telling them how bad (the symptoms) were, so that was kind of why I was able to come back (to practice) and then getting kicked out again.”
Reed said he couldn’t sleep at night and suffered from severe headaches and nausea.
“I started to get a little scared after about two months — like, ‘Maybe I’m going to be like this forever,’ or something like that.” Reed said. “But it ended up going away.”
“I don’t think it’s going to happen again. I don’t think it’s going to be something that I’m going to have to deal with my whole career.”
Reed said missing the end of his rookie season was a hard time in his life, as he worried about his health and watched Washington finish the year 3-13 with Mike Shanahan getting fired.
Now he’s symptom-free and excited about new coach Jay Gruden and his offense. Quarterback Robert Griffin III also has two new receiving targets in DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts.
“We’ve got a whole bunch of targets on offense that Rob can throw to, and I feel like the defense is not going to be able to double-team or anything like that with so many weapons,” Reed said. “I think I’ve got a chance to get open a lot.”
Gruden thinks highly of Reed and knows the threat of him on the field will keep the opposing secondaries on their heels.
“He’s obviously a force in the passing game,” Gruden said. “We’ve got to work with him to be a little more stout in the running game because it’s important for a guy like that. But overall, I think he’s had no drawbacks from those concussions, knock on wood, and we have, obviously, one of the more talented young tight ends in the NFL, I believe.
“He’s going to be a great guy to help in the middle of the field. If people want to cloud DeSean and cloud Pierre (Garcon), he’s going to be a guy that’s very much needed in the passing game, so we’ve got to get him healthy and keep him going.”