WASHINGTON — Josh Doctson proved on Sunday night that he was worth the wait when he outstretched a Raiders defender to come down with a 52-yard touchdown, by far the longest pass of the season.
This was a moment of validation not just for Doctson, but also for the Redskins coaching staff that stuck with him and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who enjoyed a euphoric celebration in the owner’s box:
Doctson was drafted in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft but was held to just two games in 2016. Even so, his 33 yards per catch average in 2016 hinted at the type of playmaker he was and could become in the Redskins offense, which has lacked speed with the departure of DeSean Jackson.
In his first two games this season, Doctson has zero receptions, causing many to believe that he may never produce. But head coach Jay Gruden talked up Doctson during the week, saying, “We’ll have some special plays for Josh because he does some special things.
“Obviously, we haven’t seen him a lot around here as far as on game day, but we’ve seen him out at practice so there will be some instances where we try to get him the ball.”
Which is precisely what they did. Speaking with Redskins.com after the game, Doctson downplayed his playmaking role in the play.
“We both saw the ball,” he said, referring to the defender, “but I’m a receiver. My timing is a little better. I just had to make a play, man. It felt good to do it, for my teammates and obviously myself.
“After I caught it, I saw the defenders stumbling. I didn’t see the safety coming, so I probably should’ve had a little more kick in my step. But I just made a play and I was happy I could do it for my team.”
With three career receptions now for 118 yards, Doctson is averaging nearly 40 yards per reception.