ASHBURN — Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said Thursday he expects to return to practice next week.
Reed missed Redskins training camp in Richmond and the first preseason game because of a left big toe injury. He has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which was initially a surprise, since late July when the Redskins opened camp in Richmond.
“I ran routes last week and started feeling good,” Reed said Thursday.
Reed’s toe injury lingered throughout the 2016 season and the tight end traveled at the beginning of the month to see specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte. He said missing time has been tough and is trying to stay positive.
Reed has recently been wearing orthopedics in his shoes to deal with his injury, which he said has made a difference. He wears them with any pair of shoes, from cleats to sneakers.
“It’s been working good,” Reed said. “It’s helped my toe out a lot. When I tried them out, it felt really good.”
Redskins coach Jay Gruden didn’t want to confirm Reed was expected to be back soon. He said last week Reed would be reevaluated after Saturday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
The Redskins were originally optimistic Reed would return after missing one week of practice, but he wasn’t able to return.
“I have learned I don’t expect anything from these injured players,” Gruden said. “That’s not trying to be funny. It’s just fact. I let the trainers handle that and I let the player handle that. When they’re ready, I get the OK and they practice.”
Reed, however, doesn’t expect his injury to last the entire season.
“I think the coaches are allowing me to rest it and allow it to heal,” Reed said. “I don’t think it’ll be a problem during the season because it’s starting to heal up really good right now.”
Other injury updates
Gruden said Su’a Cravens, Junior Galette, Maurice Harris and Levern Jacobs won’t play in Saturday’s game against the Packers, in addition to the Redskins’ already on the team’s PUP list.
Cravens had knee surgery Tuesday to repair his meniscus and is expected to return for Week 1. Gallette will miss another game with a hamstring injury and Jacobs is dealing with a lower leg injury.
Harris will be held out because he’s recovering from knee tendonitis. He returned to practice Thursday for individual drills, and Gruden said the goal is to incorporate him into team work next week.
Ryan Anderson will also be a game-time decision after suffering a “stinger” in last week’s preseason debut against the Baltimore Ravens. Anderson, a second-round pick from Alabama, will be in uniform and Gruden said a decision will be made if he can play.
Josh Doctson works in team drills
Second-year wide receiver Josh Doctson returned to practice Wednesday from a hamstring injury and took another step Thursday by participating in team work.
Gruden said Doctson looked good and is a game-time decision for Saturday.
“We’ll get a look at him during pregame warm-up and see where he stands and try to get him out there,” Gruden said. “We’ll see.”
New starting middle linebackers for Packers game
The battle for the starting middle linebackers had another development Thursday as Gruden said Zack Brown and Mason Foster will get Saturday’s start instead of Foster and Will Compton.
Brown and Foster had been taking the majority of snaps with the first-unit since last Saturday. Previously, Foster and Compton had spent most of OTAs playing together and started the Ravens game. Gruden, though, also had rotated them throughout training camp.
With Brown and Foster starting, Foster’s responsibilities switch. When paired with Brown, Foster becomes the Mike linebacker. He shifts back to the weakside with Compton.
Starting safety D.J. Swearinger said Foster brings a lot as the Mike.
“I definitely liked Mason when I was watching film on the guys last year,” Swearinger said. “He was one player that really stood out to me. Having him out there is big and I can’t wait to play with him.’
The competition is far from over. Gruden said they’ll evaluate how Foster and Brown perform and go from there.
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