Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson appears to be headed to doing something he hasn’t done since last September—taking snaps in a game. It’s a question of when, not if.
The 2016 first-round pick left practice early on August 6 with a hamstring injury. While the injury wasn’t as serious as it was first feared, it still has kept him out of the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Ravens and out of practice until yesterday.
Doctson has not appeared in a game for the Redskins since last September, when he played a total of 31 snaps in the team’s first two games before being shut down due to a lingering Achilles injury.
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As the team took the field at Redskins Park, Doctson came out in shoulder pads and a helmet. As special teams drills took up the main practice field, he warmed up and stretched over on a side field.
Then the team started position drills. Doctson looked good cutting, working on his footwork, and getting his toes inbounds as he caught some passes near the end line.
After that, the horn blew, the defensive backs came over to work against the receivers, and Doctson stepped aside. He didn’t participate in any of those drills or in the 11-on-11 work that followed.
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After practice, Doctson stayed out and caught a few more passes before heading to the locker room. Jay Gruden said that Doctson is “day-to-day”.
“My plan is to listen to the trainers and Josh and find out when he can go full-speed,” said Gruden. “Tomorrow we’re going to try to see how much more he can do and then we’ll make a decision on Saturday whether or not we can put him in or not.”
It would be surprising to see Doctson play in the Redskins’ preseason game against the Packers on Saturday. Although you can’t rule it out, the team has had a history of using great caution with hamstring injuries, especially in the preseason. Having Doctson go through a full practice for the first time in 11 days and then having him play in a game two days later has the feel of rushing things at a time when it isn’t necessary.
Instead, it is more likely that Doctson will take the field in the Redskins’ third preseason game, a week from Sunday against the Bengals. That will give Doctson a full week of practice to test his hamstring.