WASHINGTON, D.C., DC — One of the most inspirational stories in Washington is now over. The Washington Commanders have reached an injury settlement with tight end Sammis Reyes and he’s been released from the injured reserve, WUSA9 confirms. That makes Reyes a free agent who can now sign with any NFL team.
Earlier this month, Reyes landed on the injured list after suffering a hamstring injury during this year's training camp. Reyes played mostly on special teams during his time in Washington.
A year ago, the Chile native made the Washington 53-man roster despite having never played in an organized football game before that season. He became the first Chilean-born NFL player to play in an NFL game. Reyes left his home country to pursue a basketball dream when he was 14 years old, leaving his mother and father back home. Sammis didn't know much about football until he moved to the United States. Both of his parents played basketball, and soccer was the main sport in Chile.
Reyes entered the NFL's International Player Pathway Program, a league initiative placing international athletes with teams to train for a season. The Commanders saw Reyes work out during a pro day at the University of Florida on April 1. He would later sign with the Commanders out of the NFL’s International Pathway Program (IPP) in April 2021.
"I came here with a dream of making the NBA," said Reyes. "I came here by myself not knowing the language or culture."
Reyes first lived in Florida, participating in a basketball program. After three months, the program shut down, forcing him to live on his own at a very young age. He would later move to Hawaii. But after receiving a scholarship to play basketball at Tulane University, he would move once more to New Orleans.
When his basketball career was over, Reyes worked as a basketball trainer. When COVID-19 hit, his work decreased.
"I was training people to make money. In between training sessions, I would do Door Dash. I think I was the number one delivery man in the nation," said Reyes.
Around this time is when many of his friends encouraged him to play football. Reyes' goal was to bring out some Chilean dance moves if he scores an NFL touchdown.