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If Jordan Reed is healthy, he could be Washington's savior

Jordan Reed's knee is still a big question, but if he gets healthy he'll become Washington's most important offensive playmaker in 2015.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington's Jordan Reed is more of a do-everything utility man than a tight end. He's hell when he's well, but he just has to stay well more often. I know that offseason knee surgery earlier this spring is not the best sign that he will actually shake the injury bug this year, but I kinda lean the other way. Getting it over with early in the offseason is a good thing. He got to rehab the knee so it shouldn't nag him all year like it might have done if he'd waited.

If the knee is good, Washington's opponents had better beware because Reed is one hell of a chess piece. Head coach Jay Gruden will have a lot of fun with him in the passing game.

This past season, when he was healthy, Reed lined up pretty much everywhere but quarterback as a skill position player. He was at H back in the backfield, on the end of the line as a stud tight end, out wide, and inside in the slot. He also moved all over the place, no matter where he was lined up initially. He was the rare jack-of-all-trades who was actually pretty damn good at all of them. Unfortunately, he missed five games and only started two of the remaining 11 when he was actually active.

Reed was also only active for nine games his rookie season in 2013, but back then he managed to start four of them. I don't think that he regressed last season so much as I just think all those injuries led the coaches to lose confidence in him being available. That forces the staff to start reducing a player's role in the offense because they can't be sure if they will play from week to week. I'm not saying that's definitely what happened with Reed, but I could understand if it was.

When Reed is healthy, he's a problem. That kid tries to get every yard possible every time he catches the ball. He's tough as hell and plays that way all the time. He also happens to be pretty damned athletic. He does a great job of working the underneath zones, but he can also get up the seams in a hurry as well. Reed caught 50 balls last year even with all that missed time. That shows you the potential he has if he can just be available all 16 weeks of the regular season.

Getting the knee surgery this spring and having it out of the way will actually allow him to play the whole season without having to worry about re-injuring it. Even with his recent hamstring issues, Reed should be ready when the regular season opens. That being the case, his numbers, especially his touchdown receptions, should explode this season as he gets closer to realizing his full potential on the field. With the season-ending injuries suffered by fellow tight ends Niles Paul and Logan Paulson in the first preseason game, Washington is going to be relying on him like never before.