Thursday, December 31, 2009

Department of Bad News: Reed Doughty


Safety Reed Doughty yesterday became the eleventh Redskins player to be placed on injured reserve in this injury plagued 2009 season, Sunday in the second quarter of the game fifteen loss versus the Cowboys Reed leaped for a tipped Tony Romo pass, he came down with the interception and returned it twelve yards, he was hit at the sideline and rolled his leg, suffering a high ankle sprain.

Reed said he had never had this type of injury before and said to start the week he was going to try and play through it, by Tuesday there was no chance and yesterday the team went ahead and put Reed on injured reserve, Reed will miss the final game of the season.

Reed was a sixth round draft pick in 2006, despite the flameout of Adam Archuleta that season Reed saw little playing time. The 2007 offseason saw the Redskins draft safety LaRon Landry with their first round pick, Reed was again relegated to the bench, until Sean Taylor was shot and killed, as the team regrouped LaRon moved into Sean Taylor's free safety position and Reed moved into the strong safety position, in six starts Reed was credited with 53 tackles, 32 solo.

Heading into 2008 the Redskins drafted safeties Kareem Moore in the sixth round and Chris Horton in the seventh round, Reed still easily earned the starting strong safety spot, before game two of the 2008 season versus New Orleans, Reed became ill with a stomach bug, Chris Horton got the last second start and made the best of it with a fumble recovery two interceptions in the Redskins win, Chris was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.

Reed regained his starting job the next week and was gracious in praise of Chris, saying that he would do anything he could to help Chris or any other player, even those that might beat him out for playing time because it was about the team, not him. Reed did not start the next game at the Cowboys and although he does not appear in the injury report for that game, and he came back for one more start that season at the Eagles, my recollection is by this point Reed seemed to be slow and constantly behind the play, after Chris' early performance my cohort of Redskins fans was ready to see Chris Horton back in the game.

Reed's back was bothering him and he did not play in the next game versus the Rams, best known as the PETE KENDALL SHOULD NEVER PICK UP A FUMBLE AND TRY TO RUN WITH IT GAME, the day after that game the team announced Reed had nerve problems in his back causing numbness in his legs and feet, a week later Reed was placed on injured reserve, Reed seemed to complain about the decision, perhaps hinting the team was too ready to move on to Chris Horton and to make a roster spot for tailback Shaun Alexander, a former player for head coach Jim Zorn's in Seattle.

Reed had back surgery and was hopeful to return to the team. In the 2009 offseason the team made Reed less than the tender offer, making him an unrestricted free agent, by March Reed was back with the team.

Heading into the 2009 season Chris Horton won the starting strong safety spot, three games in after a number of defensive miscues by Chris, defensive coordinator Greg Blache benched Chris and reinserted Reed into the starting lineup, through those three games and after recovering the starting spot there is simply no question Reed was back in football form and better than ever, his hitting and ability to move side to side near the line were much improved from 2007 and 2008 and it looked like the Redskins were going to have two good strong safeties all season.

Which they did as Chris and Reed flip flopped all season in the starting jobs, both are outstanding and both are now on injured reserve.

With only one game left in the season this was by no means a necessary move, the team could have simply placed Reed on the inactive list. New actual general manager Bruce Allen and the team though wanted to take the time to see some other players strictly for evaluation purposes, with former 400 pound man Mike Williams also heading to injured reserve the team signed tailback PJ Hill and cornerback Marcus McCauley.

This is not by any means a serious injury and Reed will be back and ready to go for the 2010 season.

Reed Doughty: Getty Images from here.