Redskins TE Jordan Reed still in concussion protocol, almost 6 months after hit

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed remains in the concussion protocol, nearly six months after a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third preseason game, according to coach Ron Rivera.

Rivera told The Athletic about Reed's status at a yard sale in Charlotte, North Carolina, to benefit the Humane Society of Charlotte on Saturday. It's long been expected that Washington would eventually cut Reed, saving $8.5 million on the salary cap. He would count $10.3 million against the cap if he remained. Reed has two years left on his contract.

The Redskins do not have to reach an injury settlement with Reed in order to release him. If the Redskins do go ahead and release him, Reed could file a grievance, but because the concussion was a 2019 injury -- and he was paid -- he's not entitled to any money in 2020 because his contract is not guaranteed. But if the Redskins cut him before he's cleared and he doesn't play again, he could be entitled to extended injury protection because he has a contract for 2021 for around $600,000.

Reed, 29, missed all of last season because of the concussion, his seventh documented one since he started playing college football. But his career has been marked by multiple injuries; Reed has never played more than 14 games in a season.

Reed had struggled for two seasons because of ligament damage to his big toes, but he looked good in training camp this past summer. But in the third preseason game, Reed suffered a concussion after Atlanta safety Keanu Neal delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit. Reed nearly returned in Week 2, after getting cleared by the team. But after symptoms returned, an independent neurologist did not clear him. Reed did not practice after Sept. 12 and was put on injured reserve on Oct. 14.

The Redskins made Reed the focal point of their passing attack under former coach Jay Gruden. He responded with a big season in 2015 when he played a career-high 14 games. That season, Reed caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns -- all personal bests.

After that season, the Redskins signed Reed to a five-year extension worth up to $46.75 million and he made his lone Pro Bowl after the 2016 season. But from 2016 to 2018, thanks to injuries, he averaged only 49 catches per season with a combined 10 touchdowns. He has 329 career receptions with 24 touchdowns.

Washington selected Reed in the third round out of Florida in the 2013 draft. He caught 45 passes in nine games as a rookie before injuries ended his season. Reed proved to be a mismatch for linebackers or safeties in particular, especially when aligned in the slot. The Redskins loved his ability to quickly win vs. a defender, making him an ideal target.

The Redskins have a definite need at tight end, with Reed likely out and Vernon Davis having retired. They visited recently with Greg Olsen.

The Redskins already have released two former starters: corner Josh Norman and receiver Paul Richardson. After those moves, the Redskins have approximately $54 million in salary-cap space.