- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2014

Barry Cofield and Jordan Reed could each miss significant time after sustaining injuries in the Redskins’ 17-6 season-opening loss to Houston on Sunday, coach Jay Gruden said.

The two players underwent MRI exams on Monday and Gruden said the team was awaiting word on their availability for the coming weeks.

“It could be a week or two or three with them, but we’ll see,” Gruden said.

Cofield, the Redskins’ starting nose tackle, sustained a high right ankle sprain on the 78-yard touchdown reception by Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the first quarter. Cofield was engaged with Houston left tackle Duane Brown, though it was unclear whether the nose tackle had been stepped on by another player or got his cleat caught in the turf.

Reed, the oft-injured tight end, was on the field for only seven plays on Sunday before leaving the game with a strained left hamstring. He caught a 4-yard pass in the left flat and tried to hurdle Texans cornerback Kendrick Lewis, who clipped Reed’s legs as he was in the air.

Depending on the results of the medical examinations, either player could be a candidate to end up on injured reserve with the “designated to return” label. Teams are allowed to place that tag on one player each season, but he is not allowed to return to the active roster for eight weeks.

SEE ALSO: Jadeveon Clowney out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery

With regards to Cofield, Gruden said the tag could be an option because it would also allow him additional time to recover from the sports hernia surgery he underwent in May.

The strained hamstring is the eighth recorded injury Reed has sustained since joining the Redskins as a third-round draft pick prior to last season. He has played in 10 games in two seasons, missing the final six of his rookie year as he continued to experience symptoms related to a concussion.

Chris Baker, who started at left defensive end on Sunday, finished the game as the nose tackle and will stay there for the foreseeable future, Gruden said. The majority of Reed’s snaps were taken by Niles Paul, who finished with four catches for a career-high 86 yards though lost a fumble following a 48-yard reception in the third quarter.

Gruden said the team will likely work out tight ends this week, though any decision would come after a thorough evaluation of Reed’s status. Seventh-round draft pick Ted Bolser, a tight end out of Indiana, is on the Redskins’ practice squad.

• Zac Boyer can be reached at zboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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