David Reed got his old job back.
Reed had missed two games after suffering a left shoulder strain against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 18 before returning after the bye week. Reed said he was grateful for the opportunity to return kicks – an assignment that he had carried out well last season when he led the NFL with a 29.3-yard average.
“Just getting back to where I used to be and just getting back used to things and stuff,” he said. “I’m just trying to get healthy and try to get consistent.”
Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said Reed’s improved health was a significant factor in shifting the return duties back to him.
“We thought he was 100 percent healthy, we saw a really good week of practice," Rosburg said. "We saw him take some hits in practice, and we were confident that if he took a hit in the game, the ball would still be in his hands at the end of the play.”
Reed said the shoulder felt fine against the Jaguars. His biggest obstacle was breaking off some rust.
He did return two kicks for 53 yards, but was still kicking himself for not being able to break off a long return on his second attempt. (Linebacker Prescott Burgess was flagged for holding on the return, so it might not have mattered anyway.)
“I felt like I didn’t really do anything,” Reed said. “Actually, I could have won the game for us. There was some nice blocking, and I just got tripped up right in the hole. If I had just gotten past one guy, I would’ve been gone for 100. It’s something to build off of.”