Redskins tight end group looks to block out 2015 injury woes

Through the excitement of a division title, it is easy forget about those lost in the process. Head coach Jay Gruden is looking forward to returns.

Jordan Reed is clearly the face of the Washington Redskins tight end group after signing a five-year, $50 million extension. It's those behind him that could really improve the unit this coming season. 

During training camp, Washington was forced to place run-blocking specialist Logan Paulsen on season ending injured reserve with a severe turf toe injury.  Niles Paul, who appeared poised for a large role in the offens missed all of the division title run in 2015 after suffering an ankle fracture dislocation during the Redskins first preseason game

Reed remained to dominate in the passing game. The run attack suffered without those two blocking threats.

"It was a big issue," head coach Jay Gruden said at Washington's recent OTA about playing without Paul and Paulsen in 2015. "You want to have a tight end that can block the point of attack and losing Logan and Niles...it was tough." 

Washington acquired Derek Carrier from San Francisco during the preseason;. That moved helped, that is until the tight end injury bug claimed him with a torn ACL injury. While Carrier recovers, Paul and Paulsen are back to join Reed and free agent addition Vernon Davis.

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Heading into the summer, what was a limited position last year suddenly appears deep with "core blocking tight ends that can compete," Gruden said. "So, having them back is nice to see."

"They can all do it. Jordan can still block at the point of attack. He’s getting better at it. He can be more of a move guy. Niles can be a move guy, so we have a lot of versatility at tight end which is exciting."

The Redskins "have a lot of versatility at tight end which is exciting" concluded Gruden.

Last season the Redskins developed a potent passing attack with Reed, quarterback Kirk Cousins and their wide receivers and did so with little help on the ground. With their perimeter blockers back, that run game element should improve, meaning a far more dangerous attack is quite possible. 

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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