It appears that the Redskins will wait until sometime after to bye week before making a decision about putting top draft pick Josh Doctson on the injured reserve list.
He certainly won’t be back this week. Gruden gave a definitive “no” when asked if Doctson, who has been bothered by an Achilles injury since offseason drills in the spring, would be able to practice in the coming days as the Redskins prepare for the Detroit Lions. And Gruden said that it’s “safe to say” that Doctson will remain out of action until after the team’s bye week, which comes after the Redskins October 30 game against the Bengals in London.
Doctson has been inactive the last four games. The team has been hesitant to put him on IR as that would prohibit him from even practicing with the team. But it’s getting to the point where putting him on the shelf could be the way to go.
“I think it's a possibility,” said Gruden when asked about Doctson going to injured reserve. We'll see, I think we send him to another doctor, get another opinion.”
Gruden indicated that the team might take a different course of action involving the injury, which has been puzzling for the team’s training staff and doctors.
“I think the plan right now is to immobilize him for a while to take stress completely off of it for a little bit of time and then see where that leads us,” he said. “IR, maybe, maybe not, we don't know yet.”
The injury limited Doctson’s activities during OTAs and minicamp in May and June and landed him on the PUP list for all of training camp. It has been a source of frustration for the coaches and for Doctson.
“I'm frustrated for him, I feel bad for him,” said Gruden. “He wants to play in the worst way. This is the most unique injury that people have seen. Can't put a finger on why he's having pain but he's having pain. He wants to play and he's not the same guy when he can't push off because your Achilles is bothering you. We've got to get to the bottom of it but we're more concerned about longevity right now. We want to make sure he gets well.”
The ability of the Redskins to wait until after the bye before deciding on Doctson rests on the health of the team, particularly at wide receiver. They carry six and have five active on game days. As long as the other five can suit up on game days they can afford to keep Doctson inactive. But if a receiver gets injured the move may have to be to put Doctson on IR to clear the way for another one.