"I was pretty sure I was going to keep playing; I was feeling good about where I was at," Reed said. "But then I had some lingering effects and sought out professional help to get diagnosed. They told me it was not a good idea to keep playing. I agreed with them."
The 30-year-old returned to the field in 2020 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers after he suffered a concussion in the 2019 preseason and was forced to miss the subsequent campaign. Reed finished last season with 26 receptions for 231 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games.
In late winter, the former Pro Bowler underwent a brain scan and was told he should retire based on the results.
"Before when I had a concussion, I would feel better afterward, and I wouldn't have lingering effects," said Reed, who's suffered at least seven concussions, according to Keim.
"If I didn't have any symptoms, I would have kept playing. I'm OK with it because I know the reason why I'm making the choice is for family and my children, so I can be there for them. It's just time."
After the Washington Football Team picked Reed in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, he quickly proved to be a dynamic weapon as a pass-catcher. He concluded his time in D.C. with 329 receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns in 65 contests.
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound tight end climbed to 10th in both career receptions and receiving touchdowns in six seasons with Washington. However, injuries - including knee and toe issues - plagued the Florida product, and he never played in more than 14 games in a season.