ASHBURN, Va. – Following an examination by yet another specialist, and with no easy remedy for his ongoing Achilles’ tendon ailments, the Washington Redskins have placed first-round pick Josh Doctson on injured reserve, coach Jay Gruden announced Friday.
NFL rules allow teams to bring back one player that has been on injured reserve for at least six weeks if he is healthy enough to play. The rule change, set in place this year, doesn’t require teams to designate that one player for early return. So, this move doesn’t definitively end Doctson’s season. However, the Redskins have no idea of what to expect with the former TCU standout’s situation.
“We saw another specialist – a couple of them now,” Gruden said. “I think with all the work that we’ve put in, we thought it was best to immobilize him for a little bit of time and see if that can help. By the time he gets out of the boots, or boot, he’ll need time to see if he’s ready. Hopefully, we’ll get him back for the last, maybe two games of the year. . . . I don’t really know yet. We’ll see how he is. Big thing is just to get him healthy. Based on all the research we’ve done, we thought this was best for him, basically.”
Doctson – the 22nd overall pick of the draft – first injured his left Achilles’ tendon in May, during Washington’s rookie minicamp. He kept the injury to himself, and then aggravated it further on the first day of full-squad offseason practices on May 25. Doctson missed all of training camp and the preseason while trying to correct the problem with rest and treatment.
Washington could have had him open the season on the physically unable to perform list, but team officials decided against that move and placed him on the 53-man roster. Doctson began practicing in the first week of the regular season and played 12 snaps in the first game, recording a nine-yard catch. He played 19 snaps in Week 2 against Dallas, recording a 57-yard catch. But then during pre-game warmups in Week 3, Doctson experienced a flair-up and pain that prevented him from being able to push off on the Achilles’ tendon again.
He hasn’t played since. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound receiver has done rehab work on a side field, but lately, he began experiencing pain in his right Achilles’ tendon as well. After sending him to see another specialist this week, the Redskins made the move to place him on IR.
“It’s disappointing, but I think it’s best for him – that’s the most important thing,” Gruden said. “I think for his state of mind, I think it’s important to get this thing fixed, and do it the right way. I think based on the information that we’ve gathered, we tried to push him along maybe a little bit too hard because we didn’t really feel like – we really couldn’t find anything wrong. But obviously, he feels like there’s something wrong in there. Something is bothering him. So, let’s get to the bottom of it, get him healthy, and get him ready for the end of the year, or next year.”
Washington called up undrafted rookie Maurice Harris from the practice squad to fill Docton’s spot on the roster. The 6-3, 200-pound Cal product recorded four catches for 27 yards in the preseason.