Justin Reid has been in the NFL for two seasons and missed only one game, but he's never really been fully healthy. During his rookie season, he played most of the year with a wrist injury that required surgery at the conclusion of the season. During his second season, he played the entire year with a torn labrum in his shoulder that also necessitated surgery at the conclusion of the season.
A few months later, Reid says he is finally fully healthy, and that he's gearing up for his first, true full offseason.
"Really good, I feel healthy for the first time in forever," Reid told the Houston Chronicle this week. "I'm just truly excited to be where I'm at physically right now. My rookie year, I dealt with the wrist injury. Last year, I dealt with the shoulder injury. I feel as healthy as I've been since before I had the original wrist injury. It's a big thing for me."
Despite playing injured for just about his entire career, Reid has emerged as a solid starting safety. He has recorded 166 tackles (three for loss), 33 run stops (per Pro Football Focus) 15 passes defensed, five interceptions, three fumble recoveries, two quarterback hits, and a forced fumble during his two years in the league. PFF graded him 22nd out of 67 safeties that played at least 500 snaps in 2018, and 11th out of 70 such safeties in 2019.
Now, he's ready to take another step forward.
"I'm going to be consistent," Reid said, per the Chronicle. "Everybody gets hurt, and I've had a little bit of a rough go with some injuries the last few years. The point of also being a great player is when you can play and still make an impact. If I didn't think I could make an impact and be a guy who could make plays, I wouldn't be on the field. I was always confident I could take care of my job and complete my responsibilities. Especially now, I'm extremely confident I can not only do that, but be able take it to the next level and be the player that offenses fear."
Houston has made several changes on defense this season, with Anthony Weaver taking over at defensive coordinator and personnel being shuffled both up front and on the back end. Reid holding down a center-field type of role and being able to reach the next level would go a long way toward helping Houston go from being a bottom-third defense (26th in Football Outsiders' DVOA last season) to the top half, which would in turn help offset any dip the offense takes after trading star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.