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Jordan Reed Back On Field, Hopes To Play Saturday

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After being out for two weeks with a hamstring injury, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed practiced on Tuesday and hopes to be active Saturday against the Ravens.

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed returned to practice on Tuesday, the first time he has been in pads since a hamstring injury sidelined him on Aug. 11.

"It felt great man, definitely good to be back working again with my guys," Reed said. "I feel 100 percent. I took my time getting back so I'll be all good for the season."

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Reed "did everything today, he looked good today. That's exciting, great progress by him." 

Reed's return comes at a time when the Redskins' tight end situation is in flux.

He was expected to be one of the team's three veteran carryovers from last season alongside Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen, but the other two were placed on Injured Reserve two weeks ago with ankle and toe issues, respectively.

Now, the 25-year-old Reed could be the veteran leader for the rest of the team's tight ends as they look for guidance in Gruden's system.

Behind Reed on the depth chart are recently acquired Derek Carrier along with Je'Ron Hamm, Chase Dixon, Devin Mahina, D.J. Williams and Ernst Brun Jr.

If he plays on Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens, which he said he's hoping to, Reed believes he can add a layer to the first-team offense that they haven't had in recent weeks.

"I feel like I can get open and create some mismatches and exploit the defense," he said. 

When healthy, Reed is one of the sharpest route runners from the tight end position in the NFL. He also has durable hands, as he's recorded 964 yards on 95 receptions with three touchdowns over two seasons.

If he does indeed see action in the preseason, the Florida product wants to make sure his overall game is ready to handle the regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins and beyond.

A countdown of the Top 10 images of Redskins tight end Jordan Reed during the 2014 season.

"Not have any mental errors, be real sharp with the playbook and just real crisp with my footwork and routes," Reed said of what he wants to work on. "Keep handling plays and know my assignments and things like that. Just be where I'm supposed to be."

While Reed was originally slotted as the team's No. 2 tight end on the unofficial depth chart, he's still seen as a large part of the Redskins' offense.

With DeSean Jackson opening up the top of defenses and Alfred Morris causing focus to shift to the ground game, Reed often faces mismatches and advantages.

"I feel a difference with Jordan," Gruden said. "Jordan, I told him that he is doing his normal thing in the passing game. He's doing a great job of getting open, and obviously snatching the ball and running after the catch. You can see his shiftiness and his 'make-people-miss' ability. Really what I've noticed is when we ask him to pass protect, he's doing an excellent job. He really is. Even in the running game he's doing a good job. You can see he's got a little bit more strength, a little bit more confidence in his strength also."

Asked how he felt about possibly suiting up on Saturday, Reed's answer was simple.

"Really excited to be playing in a game," he said. 

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