One of the more puzzling storylines to emerge from the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles Monday night was the disappearance of wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. Like, Pryor could not be found.
Kirk Cousins targeted Pryor four times against the Eagles, with the receiver catching two of those passes for 14 yards, this after he was noticeably absent from the field of play during the early part of the game.
In totality, Pryor had a minimal — if not negative — effect on the game when he was on the field.
Jay Gruden awkwardly explained his way through Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder getting the start over Pryor.
“We started Josh at X, we started Crowder at Z, and we were in two tight ends, so we were in that package a lot throughout the first half,” he said. “Then we went to three receivers, we brought Crowder in and Grant.”
“Then we were gonna get Pryor in there a little bit as the season — as the game — went on,” he added, correcting himself along the way.
Dan Steinberg of The Post pressed further: “It just seems surprising, as the guy who we sort of thought might be the No. 1 guy entering the season.”
“Well, Josh, we drafted Josh to be the No. 1 guy,” Gruden said. “He’s just had some injuries. Now that he’s healthy, we want to see what he can do. And he’s doing a pretty good job; we just got to coach him… We’re gonna use them all, so it doesn’t really matter who starts.”
Pryor signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Skins, making his absence in the offensive scheme all the more puzzling. The quarterback-turned-receiver has caught 18 of 33 balls thrown his way — just a hair over 54 percent — for 223 yards and one touchdown on the season.
“I think it’s a work in progress and I don’t want to write a narrative until we have a full sample size of the season,” Cousins said afterward. “There’s still a lot of football left. There’s no reason why he can’t have a very strong 10 games here and really finish strong this season.”
If this game was the new standard, Doctson figures to see far more reps through the rest of the season while Pryor fades quietly into the background.
If you’re Pryor, being sequestered on the sideline until the Redskins’ third series — after leading the receiving corps in snaps over five games prior — cannot be a strong vote of confidence moving forward, no matter the post-game remarks.