Tight end Jordan Reed suffered a seventh documented concussion last August and did not play during the 2019 campaign while on the Washington Football Team, which he said led him to consider retirement.
"I definitely thought about hanging it up after last season," Reed said, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (h/t Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk). "But it was when I watched the Super Bowl is what really ignited me again. I want to play in those big games. God blessed me to be here and be a part of this great team. He gave me the opportunity to be in (this) situation. That's what is driving me. I love the game of football. I still have the drive to keep playing."
Branch noted Reed missed at least 25 games during his first seven seasons in the league because of concussions. The University of Florida product was cleared from concussion protocol in February.
Reed was a dangerous playmaker from the tight end position during his prime and made the Pro Bowl in 2016 behind 66 catches for 686 yards and six touchdowns. That wasn't even his best individual season, as he tallied 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.
Since then, Reed played in just six games in 2017, missed all of last year and posted 558 receiving yards and two touchdown catches in 2018.
While those numbers don't stand out, he is still just 30 years old and will not be expected to carry the offense in San Francisco considering George Kittle is arguably the best tight end in the NFL. Reed can spell Kittle, play in two-tight end sets and take advantage of the single coverage he will likely face if his talented teammates are drawing more defensive attention.
He has never won a Super Bowl but will likely get a chance to play in some of those big games he mentioned if the 49ers live up to expectations as the defending NFC champions.