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Jordan Reed played with 'severe pain' vs. Cowboys

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Anyone questioning Jordan Reed's toughness the next time the Washington Redskins tight end is hurt should keep their lip zipped.

Reed exited Thursday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys with what coach Jay Gruden described Friday as a Grade 3 AC joint separation in his left shoulder early in the second quarter. He was seen on the sideline in a sling at one point. Most thought his day was over.

Instead, the touchdown machine returned to catch eight passes for 85 yards and two scores after the injury. Reed finished with 10 catches for 95 yards and the two TDs total for the day.

"It's pretty severe pain," he said afterward, via ESPN.com. "I noticed it the whole time. I just kind of grinded it out and kept praying. I was able to fight through it."

Gruden was surprised Reed returned.

"I didn't think he'd come back in, but he came back in and made gigantic plays for us," he said.

When the fourth-year pro signed a $46 million contract extension in May, some questioned whether the oft-injured tight end was worth the cash. When he's on the field, Reed is worth every penny. He leads the Redskins with 59 receptions, tied for second among all TEs this season, and is one of top red-zone weapons in the NFL.

Reed has missed 16 games in his career, including two earlier this season. Many of those were due to concussion troubles. Players are learning more and more that head injuries aren't something you can play through. It's not about toughness with concussions. When it comes to other injuries, however, Reed said he's learning to play through some discomfort.

"It has a lot to do with my maturity," Reed said. "I've grown in how my teammates look at me and the faith they have in me that I could come through in certain situations. When I'm not out there, I feel like I'm letting them down. I don't like to miss time."

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