Andre Roberts’ struggles with dropped passes is becoming a concern for the Redskins after the wide receiver failed to haul in a catchable ball in the red zone Thursday night, Coach Jay Gruden acknowledged.
“I think he’s probably a little down that he’s had some drops,” Gruden said on a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. “He’s had, I think, two or three drops already this season. That’s uncharacteristic of Andre.”
Roberts had one reception (on three targets) for 18 yards in the Redskins’ 32-21 loss to the Giants. The drop came in the fourth quarter as Washington scrambled to get back into a lopsided game. Down 25-6 with about 11 minutes left to play, quarterback Kirk Cousins made an on-target thrown to Roberts, who was crossing the middle of the field near the New York 12-yard line. But Cousins’ pass—on first and 10—slipped through Roberts’ fingers and the drive ended three plays later with a Matt Jones’ fumble at the goal line.
Jones’ fumbling issues aside, that drive may have turned out differently had Roberts secured the pass and gotten inside the five.
Roberts has been credited with two drops this season, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Last year, Roberts reeled in only half of his targets (36 of 72) and dropped a team-worst seven passes, also according to PFF.
“We expect more out of Andre,” Gruden said, “but he has done some good things, especially in the running game. He’s headed up on people, blocking for our backs which is a very important part…There are some good things that he’s done, but obviously he is a wide receiver and wide receivers should not drop that many balls. He’s already had three too many, so that’s something that’ll be addressed and talked about.”
Gruden added: “He’s frustrated but he’s going to work his tail off, he said, and get himself ready for the last 13 games.”
In three games this season, Roberts has five catches on eight targets for 54 yards and three first downs. With DeSean Jackson out with an injury, Roberts’ 154 snaps are second on the Redskins among wide receivers behind Pierre Garcon’s 184.
Roberts has already been replaced as the team's primary returner. And if he doesn’t find a cure for his problem with drops, he may start losing playing time on offense, as well.