- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2018

ASHBURN — Redskins tight end Jordan Reed and running back Chris Thompson won’t play Friday when Washington takes on the Denver Broncos at FedEx Field.

But that was always part of the plan, coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday.

Even though the third preseason game is considered the “dress rehearsal,” the Redskins are perfectly OK with Reed and Thompson not seeing preseason action. The two are working their way back from their respective surgeries. 

Gruden, who doesn’t play his starters in the fourth week of the preseason, said he believed the pair of playmakers could suit up if it were Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

“But luckily, that’s not the case and we’ve got another two and a half to three weeks for them to really, really, get some good practice sessions in, get with Alex [Smith], and get quality work in, not only for them, but for Alex, but also for their bodies to get them in shape,” Gruden said.

Reed is recovering from two operations on his big toes. Limited to just six games last season, he told reporters in training camp he feels “100 times better.” Toe pain altered Reed’s running style and he suffered a season-ending hamstring injury because of it.Thompson is coming off a broken leg. He has looked explosive and like his usual self, but admitted he was nervous to receive his first hit.

Both players are expected to be major parts of the Redskins’ offense, particularly on third down.

“Yeah, we’ve got to get them ready [for the regular season],” Gruden said. “They’re practicing more. Chris is doing more and more [and] Jordan is doing more and more. They’re getting themselves ready.”

Gruden also said that defensive end Stacy McGee, who is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list, will not play.

The Redskins coach did not rule out left tackle Trent Williams, who underwent knee surgery last season.

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