ASHBURN — Redskins rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson walked out of FedEx Field on Sunday evening for the final time this season.
But he wasn’t in uniform or on the field. He wore jeans and boots as he walked down the hallway with a friend after Washington’s season ended with a 19-10 loss to the New York Giants.
Docton’s contribution this season? Two catches in two games in a lost season cut short by a sore left Achilles tendon.
There were more talks with medical specialists than practices, more time spent with team trainers than coaches. It was a frustrating year for Washington’s first-round draft pick in 2016.
“Just meetings with no answers,” Doctson said.
Doctors diagnosed him with tendonitis in his left Achilles tendon. It struck Doctson in May, kept him out of most of OTAs and all of minicamp and training camp. He returned in late August and appeared in two regular season games. The highlight was a 57-yard reception in a home loss to Dallas in Week 2.
“It’s just a unique injury is what I’ve been hearing by the doctors,” Doctson said. “So it’s just been a frustrating year. Not really a certain diagnosis of what it is other than tendonitis. Something that hopefully won’t reoccur if I let it calm down. I’ve never had this problem ever. It was foreign to me. That’s why I tried to play through it.”
That ultimately cost Doctson. He tried to rest during the break between minicamp and training camp. But those six weeks weren’t enough and he began the preseason on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. It was only after training camp and all four preseason games that Doctson felt well enough to practice.
After the tendonitis flared up again just hours before a Week 3 game in New York, Doctson was again a healthy scratch and eventually placed on IR on Oct. 21. But when the team decided to bring back Kory Lichtensteiger (calf) from IR on Dec. 7, Doctson’s season was over. The NFL allows teams to bring just one player back from IR per season. Doctson had been eligible to return for the final two games before the Redskins added Lichtensteiger.
Doctson said he hopes to increase his activity later in January. He won’t leave Washington until he feels 100 percent. Then the real preparation for next season can begin with the hope of putting his rookie year behind him. Doctson wants to prove he’s the player the Redskins drafted No. 22 overall. What should they expect once he’s back to full health?
“Like I was at TCU,” Doctson said. “Yeah. For sure. No doubt.”
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