RICHMOND—Fred Davis is back and, if his performance on Thursday night is any indication, he could be better than ever.
Davis had been sidelined since Week 7 of last year, when he tore his Achilles tendon against the Giants. Most six-year veterans treat the preseason opener with a yawn but Davis appeared to be quite pumped up to play the Titans after almost 10 months on the sideline.
He played 13 snaps and caught two passes for 14 yards and a touchdown. He probably won’t get an easier scoring catch than the three-yard toss he got from Kirk Cousins in the first quarter.
The offense flowed to the left and Cousins faked a handoff and started to roll the other way. Davis found an open spot in the back of the end zone and waited. Cousins’ pass was on the money and Davis gathered it in for the touchdown.
His reaction and celebration were only understandable in light of how long Davis has waited to get back on the football field. He started shaking in sort of an imitation of Barry Cofield’s taser sack dance. That was OK with the officials but when he went to the ground and continued to shake he draw a 15-yard flag for excessive celebration.
“I don’t even know. It was spontaneous. I don’t know what I was doing, actually,” he said. “I’ve got to put more thought into it. I cost my team a penalty, so it wasn’t a good celebration.”
The 15-yard penalty was enforced on the ensuing kickoff and it helped the Titans get good field position at their own 42. On their first play from scrimmage Chris Johnson got loose for a 58-yard touchdown run. Had this been a regular season game Davis’ celebration would have drawn plenty of negative commentary.
But since the game didn’t count, Davis can simply say, “It was dumb,” and move on. Hopefully he got it out of his system and will go by the rules when the games count.