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Jordan Reed still in concussion protocol 6 months later, Redskins expected to move on

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Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

UPDATE: Jordan Reed can be released while in concussion protocol*

We knew Jordan Reed had an extensive history with concussions(7 documented in his career), but his latest one looks like the one that will end his Redskins career, and possibly his NFL career. Reed was concussed from a dirty hit by Falcons safety Keanu Neal in a preseason game on 8/22/19, almost 6 months ago. He did not play a single regular season snap last year for the first time in his career.

Rhiannon Walker and Ben Standig from the Athletic are reporting that Jordan Reed is still in the concussion protocol per Redskins Head Coach Ron Rivera. This is troubling news for a lot of reasons. Reed has his extensive history with concussions, and has been resistant to using specialized helmets in the past. He has also been dismissive of the long-term effects on his health, but now seems ready to face the severity of the issue. Several teammates said he could leave the game to preserve his health.

“We’re evaluating all of our options,” Rivera said during the Carolina Panthers’ gear yard sale at the Humane Society of Charlotte on Saturday. “We have a good young group of guys, and we’re just looking at things and deciding whether or not we want to go that way, continue to get younger — or, do we have to sit there and sprinkle in some veteran guys?

“A great example is the tight end position. Vernon Davis is retired. Jordan Reed is still going through the concussion protocol. He’s a very veteran guy. We have an opportunity to bring in a guy like Greg Olsen — so that’s one of the positions where we have identified, said ‘Hey, we do need to have a veteran guy at that position one way or another?’”

Reed's concussion recovery time has gotten longer with each hit, and the Redskins are ready to move on according to this Athletic report. Reed was one of the most talented TEs the Redskins ever drafted, but his availability has always been an issue. The Redskins save $8.5 million if they release Reed before the season starts.

The Redskins also lost their other starting TE this month when Vernon Davis announced his retirement on Super Bowl Sunday. Davis also cited his concussion history as the reason for his retirement. He said he could have seen himself playing for several more years, but the severity of the effects, and growing length of recovery time forced him to hang up the cleats. Davis's final NFL season ended after a Week 4 concussion.

The Redskins have a huge need at tight end this season. They have Jeremy Sprinkle, Hale Hentges, and Caleb Wilson on the roster. They are one of three teams in negotiations with former Panthers TE Greg Olsen. They have also been doing heavy research on this year's TE class in the draft. The Redskins and new Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner need to find starters this year.

Tight end is of the utmost importance in new offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s system, and The Athletic’s Mark Bullock has thoroughly detailed his propensity using two tight ends in “12” personnel. Rivera’s sentiment on Saturday reaffirmed the statement his top offensive coach shared when he first spoke to local media a month ago on Jan. 15.

“The tight end is very important to our offense,” Turner explained. “We’re evaluating everything. We’re going to try and get as much talent as we can on offense. You look at that in different ways, obviously what is on the roster currently, but then we will look in free agency and we’ll look in the draft. Those are the different avenues to acquiring talent and we’re open to all of that.”