Seven seasons. Seven documented concussions.
Jordan Reed has not played a full NFL season in his entire career. He was unable to play a single game last season after a brutal hit in the preseason landed him in concussion protocol, marking his seventh documented concussion. There, a question looms. It’s not a question anyone wants to ask, but it’s one that certainly needs answering.
Is it really worth it to keep going?
On Tuesday’s episode of the RADIO.COM Sports original Home and Home, hosted by longtime NFL veteran Ross Tucker and news anchor Dave Briggs, Redskins great London Fletcher appeared on the show and spoke on his former teammate’s health and future.
“I was there the year he had his first concussion and I remember how that situation played out,” Fletcher said. “In Jordan’s case, he’s had so many documented concussions. Now, you don’t know how many undocumented concussions he’s had.”
It’s no longer completely unknown that athletes have sustained concussions over the years which go without proper evaluation and treatment. Most recently, former Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski admitted in an interview with CBS Sports that he’s “probably had… 20 concussions,” though a significant amount of those alleged concussions were endured without official documentation.
Fletcher doesn’t want to see his former teammate’s life take a turn for the worse after seeing so many concrete examples of what head trauma can do after a long career in football.
“There comes a time and place where... people who are close to him have to say ‘hey Jordan, it’s not worth it man,’,” Fletcher said. “You’ve got to look at your long term health and walk away because… we’ve had enough examples of guys who’ve suffered major concussions and [we know] what they look like 20-30 years down the road and what their [lives are] like. It’s a situation where somebody who’s close to him has to say ‘hey Jordan, it’s time to walk away,’.
“I know for a young guy like him -- especially a talented guy -- he wants to continue to play, but I think he may have to come to grips that it’s time to walk away.”
Reed is still not cleared from concussion protocol, according to The Athletic, meaning the effects from a hit that occurred around six months ago are still lingering.
Fletcher was subsequently asked about quarterback Alex Smith, whose severe leg injury developed into a case of sepsis. Smith told ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” that he’s lucky to be alive after the injury took a turn.
“It’s still a ways away before Alex is even able to get to that point where they can truly say whether he’ll be able to play again,” Fletcher said.
After a disastrous 2019 campaign, Washington will have to decide the best plan of action to take with both of these veterans as the Redskins look to rebuild.