NFL Wire News

Redskins TE Reed in concussion protocol


The Sports Xchange

ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed just can’t stay healthy and now the team must wonder if its top receiving threat will be available on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Reed sustained a concussion in the final minute of the win over Philadelphia and must clear the NFL’s protocol before playing. The concussion came after he first departed the game with a strained MCL in his right knee and an ankle injury that kept him off the field on a third-and-13 play.

Reed is tied with Pierre Garcon for the team lead in receptions (24) and is tops in yards (278). It is Reed’s fourth documented concussion since his days at the University of Florida. One in 2013, his rookie year, cost Reed the final six games of that season.

–Rookie wide receiver Jamison Crowder looked like a player who was gunning for veteran Andre Roberts’ slot receiver job during training camp. Now, it is his. The fourth-round pick shined in Richmond, but was set back by a hamstring injury.

But Roberts’ continued struggles to hold onto the football gave Crowder another chance. He caught all six passes thrown his way in the loss to the Giants on Sept. 24. On Sunday, with Roberts inactive, the 5-foot-8 Crowder had seven more catches for 65 yards.

“I knew it was going to be a big game for me,” Crowder said. “It’s a big moment for me getting all this playing time and experience. I just did what I could throughout the week to be as prepared as possible.”

–The Redskins’ secondary has been decimated by injury and suspension since the start of training camp. That’s why cornerback Chris Culliver, playing with a sore knee that kept him out of practice on Thursday and Friday last week, drew raves from his teammates after the Philadelphia win.

Culliver struggled in coverage. The Eagles twice beat him on deep touchdown throws. But the Redskins just don’t have the bodies to go without him.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is out at least another few weeks (torn ligaments, right big toe). Corner David Amerson, the team’s second-round pick in 2013, was cut last month.

Things are so bad Washington promoted Quinton Dunbar to the active roster this week. He was a wide receiver at the start of training camp and only switched to corner because the defense needed the bodies.

“I was surprised to see (Culliver) out there, to be honest with you,” free safety Dashon Goldson said. “But I’m glad he was. I know he was only probably like 50 percent, but at the same time that’s the kind of heart he’s got.”

–The Redskins have been waiting three years for reserve running back Chris Thompson to stay healthy. Back and knee injuries ruined two of his seasons in college at Florida State. Still, Washington took a chance on Thompson in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and that’s starting to pay dividends.

Taking over for former third-down back Roy Helu, Thompson made it through training camp intact and finally broke through in the Philadelphia win. On a third-and-19 situation during the first series of the game, Thompson shredded the Eagles for a 42-yard run to gain a first down and set up an early Washington field goal. He finished with 53 rushing yards and caught two passes out of the backfield for 24 yards.

–Washington moved on from kicker Kai Forbath last month in part because he struggled so much on kickoffs. The hope was that kicker Dustin Hopkins, a touchback specialist, would be just nearly as accurate as Forbath (87 percent). So far, so good. Hopkins converted all three field-goal attempts on Sunday and is now 6-for-6 in two games. He has also made all six of his extra-point chances.

–Defensive end Chris Baker was replaced in the starting lineup by his own best friend and was happy about it. That’s how much it meant when the Connecticut native learned Washington signed nose tackle Terrance Knighton as a free agent. Knighton was the best man at Baker’s wedding that same week.

Pushed back to defensive end by Knighton’s signing and relegated to a reserve role there when Stephen Paea signed from Chicago, Baker has earned a starting role again. Against the Eagles, Baker finished with two sacks for the first time in his career.

“That’s what (defensive) linemen work for: Tackles for loss and sacks,” Baker said. “I was able to get two today and that’s the first time I’ve ever done that. It felt great.”

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