RICHMOND — Maybe it’s a sign of progress that the biggest “controversy” in Redskins training camp so far is the health status of a rookie wide receiver.
Josh Doctson, the team’s first-round pick in the recent NFL draft, hasn’t participated in a practice since May 31 during OTAs. He has had left Achilles tendonitis since rookie minicamp early in May and didn’t participate in any on-field activities the rest of OTAs or minicamp.
We knew Doctson was wearing a walking boot because coach Jay Gruden said so on Saturday. We just hadn’t seen him wear it out onto the field until Wednesday morning’s walk through. So nothing new there.
But frustration is seeping in. GM Scot McCloughan smashed his left hand against a chair when given an original diagnosis of three months by specialists. That turned out to be too aggressive. But McCloughan’s hand is still bandaged and both Gruden and Doctson have finally had enough of the day-to-day questioning. Doctson said on Wednesday he’s been told not to comment on his health.
Understandable. And totally unrealistic. This is a first-round pick — a man who might have to take over for pending free agents DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon as soon as next year. Getting a year under his belt as a rookie in limited pressure situations was an ideal scenario. Now the Redskins watch Doctson miss one practice session after another and grow concerned.
A team spokesman insisted on Wednesday that the walking boot doesn’t represent a setback. True enough. He’s been wearing the boot for a while now. But it’s not progress, either. And that’s what Doctson is waiting for. Until the soreness in his left Achilles tendon subsides, no timeline is worth a damn. That could happen next week, allowing the team to gently test his recovery. Or maybe it will be well into the season before Doctson is ready.
No one wants to think about the absolute worst case. The Redskins have seen enough Achilles tendons end seasons (DeAngelo Hall, Junior Galette twice) to last them a while. They’re good on that front. For now, any timeline given is more hoping and wishing as Doctson waits and waits for the soreness to subside enough to at least test the foot. We’ll see how long that takes.
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