Redskins' tight end Jordan Reed has suffered seven documented concussions in his seven years as an NFL professional. If he's not already at the point where his long-term health has been jeopardized, he's certainly nearing that line, a metaphorical line that should be highlighted with as many metaphorical "DO NOT CROSS" markers as possible.
One fellow Redskin, linebacker London Fletcher who played with Reed in the tight end's rookie season, encouraged that the tight end calls it quits before it's too late. Another fellow Redskin, current linebacker Ryan Anderson, is taking a completely different and fairly disturbing approach.
"If I can still remember my grandkids' names then I didn't play the game right," Anderson said 'verbatim,' according to former Washington tight end Garrett Hudson on the Redskins Brawl podcast (h/t Jordan Heck of Sporting News).
Though Anderson himself hasn't been on the receiving end of the devastating blows that Reed has taken, he's delivered them himself. He was ejected after a particularly vicious blow to then-Panthers tight end Greg Olsen late last season which resulted in an ejection and hefty fine for Anderson and an appearance in concussion protocol for Olsen.
The aforementioned discussion from the more renowned Redskins linebacker of the two, London Fletcher, arose after Jordan Reed remained in concussion protocol into February of 2020, six months after he first appeared. Fletcher disagrees with Reed's desire to continue playing, noting that though seven documented concussions is plenty, he's sure there are many more undocumented ones to be wary of.
“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," Fletcher said.
It's one thing to play hard, and I'm all for that. But if what Hudson said about his former teammate is true, it's disconcerting. It's another thing to take on a play style that shows acceptance of potential long-term health defects and memory loss, and that's an entirely different story.