The NFL’s first Chilean: TE Sammis Reyes makes Washington’s active roster

The Washington Football Team has signed tight end Sammis Reyes from Chile to the 53-man active roster.

Reyes earned praise for his run blocking as the former basketball player was able to show off his physicality moving defenders well in his first-ever game action.  The Chilean also made two catches and played on numerous special teams throughout this year’s pre-season.

Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera:

“We saw what he can grow into. He blocked well. We really like him in certain situations blocking. He might be our most physical tight end. I might be getting ahead of myself but some things I saw pointed to that.”

Earlier this year, Reyes was set to come through the NFL’s International Pathway Program (IPP). A program that provides international players with both training and a roadmap to break into the NFL. Each year four players are selected from the IPP’s group and placed onto teams in the same division following the NFL Draft. Initially, Reyes was one of the 11 prospects competing for a spot this year. However, he was signed before the draft after Washington pulled the trigger on the raw prospect following an impressive pro day.

The 6’5″ 260-pound Reyes was born in Santiago, Chile before moving to the United States when he was 14 years old. Basketball was Reyes’s first love as he became a talented forward playing for Tulane University and the Chilean National team. After finishing his college basketball career in 2019, Reyes pivoted to the gridiron hoping to make the transition from rebounder to tight end, following in the footsteps of NFL pros such as Antonio Gates and Moe Ali-Cox.

Now, two years later he’ll be strapping up the pads for his first season of football against the best players in the world.

Reyes’s roster status makes him the first Chilean player ever in the NFL, an honor he doesn’t take lightly:

“I get emotional because there has never been a guy from Chile in the NFL. Where we come from, we don’t get too many opportunities. And now we have a lot of guys, we have a lot of kids who look up to me and send me messages every single day. I’ve been able to represent my country on this stage, it means the world to me.”

Fans can expect the South American rookie to contribute on special teams and short-yardage situations as he’s currently listed as one of four tight ends on the Washington Football Team roster.

Read more about Sammis Reyes’s football journey from Chile to the NFL here. 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football