Oakland Raiders: Potential X-Factors In Week Three Tilt With Washington

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Chris Thompson
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Chris Thompson /
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Oakland Raiders

Jordan Reed

Given his stats over the first four years of his career – 248 receptions for 2,602 yards and 20 touchdown grabs – it’s hard to say that Reed is a come out of nowhere, flying under the radar X-Factor. He’s been one of the better tight ends in the league for a few years now.

The problem point for Reed though, is that he’s often injured, missing a combined 18 games over his four seasons as a pro. And as of right now, he’s listed as questionable to play against the Raiders with a chest contusion and AC joint sprain in his shoulder.

All signs though, are pointing to Reed being on the field, ready to roll, come Sunday night. The question though is – how will his latest injuries impact his performance on that field?

If he’s 100 percent healthy, he presents some matchup problems for Oakland’s defense. He’s got size (six-foot-three, 236 pounds) and plenty of speed. He has the ability to rampage through the second level of an opponent’s defense if those linebackers aren’t on point.

There’s no question that Norton/Pagano will be deploying Karl Joseph to try and help keep Reed in check. But they’re also going to need help from the linebackers. Nicholas Morrow, who’s been solid against the run and pass this season, is likely going to draw the assignment to cover him. It will most definitely be a good test for Morrow as a pass defender.

If Reed can shake Morrow and avoid the bone-jarring hits from Joseph, he could have a big impact on this game. As Washington’s leading receiver with 11 grabs so far this season, quarterback Kirk Cousins has been relying on him as he builds chemistry with Terrelle Pryor and the rest of his receiving group.

Oakland has had a ton of trouble covering tight ends in recent seasons and Reed will provide them with a good litmus test to see if they’re actually improving.