Reed says he'll 'definitely' play Sunday

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins noticed his absence on Monday, which is why they’re thankful they likely won’t have to go without him this week.

Tight end Jordan Reed said he feels “perfectly normal” and will play against the New York Giants on Sunday.

“I’m definitely going for sure,” he said.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said for a second straight day that Reed would play Sunday if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks. Reed suffered two concussions at Florida and said this latest one was not as bad.

Reed missed the 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Monday night. How much a difference he would have made is debatable, but he would have helped in certain situations. On third downs, for example, Reed has become a favorite target of quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The Redskins converted just four of 15 third downs Monday. They’re sixth in the NFL on third downs with a 44.3 percent rate. Of Reed’s 45 catches, 14 have come on third downs. Also, 30 of his catches have resulted in first downs.

“We missed him a ton,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “Jordan is one of our best players. He’s as good a tight end as I’ve been around. He’s one of the main reasons we’ve gone from one of the bottom five in the league to one of the top five. When you have a guy who can separate like him and have hands like him and get upfield, anytime you don’t have him it’s going to hurt.”

Also, fullback Darrel Young and tight end Niles Paul both did not practice. Young’s hamstring is still bothering him -- he has a history of hamstring issues -- while Paul missed a second straight day because he was sick. Mike Shanahan was not sure if Paul would return to practice Friday.

Paul replaced Young against San Francisco. If both are sidelined, then one of the other tight ends would assume the fullback position. It also would help Fred Davis be active for a second straight week.

As for Young, Shanahan said there’s a chance he’ll be ready, but they’ll know better Friday. Young had a good workout on the treadmill earlier in the week, giving them some optimism.

“But as soon as he pushed off he felt a twinge in there, which isn’t a good sign,” Shanahan said.