After seven concussions, San Francisco 49ers’ tight end Jordan Reed is thankful to still be able to do what he loves. Reed sat out the 2019 season after suffering a concussion during a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The 30-year-old spent the first seven years of his career with the Washington Football Team. Niners’ head coach Kyle Shanahan was a part of the staff when Washington drafted him in 2013, so he has familiarity with San Francisco’s scheme.
“I’m adjusting well to it. Kyle’s offense is very complex. I learn best with reps; I’ve been getting more reps lately. So I’m starting to pick up on it day-by-day,” Reed said. “It’s similar to what he had going on in Washington, but it changed a lot. It is very complex.”
The tight end’s best season was in 2015 when he 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Although he had individual success, Washington struggled as a team, only making the postseason once during Reed’s tenure with the organization. One of the main reasons he decided to join the 49ers is that they’re a championship contender.
“I definitely thought about hanging it up on after last season, but it was when I seen the Super Bowl that really kind of ignited me again, and I want to play in those big games, man, Reed said. “God blessed me to be here and a part of this great team and gave me the opportunity to be in that situation. That’s what’s driving me. I just love the game of football, and I still got the drive to keep playing.”
Although he sat out the first week of practice, Reed is starting to come along, often being San Francisco’s best pass-catcher during camp with so many skilled position players sitting out due to injury. Similar to former his Washington teammate Trent Williams, Reed can see the differences between the two organizations.
“I mean, coming from Washington to here, it’s a big change for me. Big culture change. Everything is upbeat, positive.” Reed said. “Everybody’s doing their job to the best of your ability, and you know it just brings out the best in you because you want to fit the standard here, so I’m grateful for being here for sure.”
Shanahan will be able to use more of the 12 formation with Reed in the fold. With superstar tight end George Kittle being among the best players in the league, Shanahan now has two reliable pass-catching tight ends, something he hasn’t had since taking over in 2017.
Reed is enjoying playing with Kittle, who has helped him with transitioning to a new team.
“George is a great dude. Supremely talented guy,” Reed said. Real humbling and real helpful. So, it’s a blessing to be on the same team as him and playing alongside him.”
What kind of numbers do you think Reed will put up this season?