Aug 18, 2016, 5:31 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, August 18, one day before the Washington Redskins play the New York Jets at FedEx Field.
—Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park, no media availability.
—The Redskins last played a game that counted 221 days ago. It will be 25 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Final roster cut 16; Cowboys @ Redskins 31; Browns @ Redskins 45
—Former Redskins returner (and my current CSN colleague) Brian Mitchell was born on this date in 1968.
The Redskins by the numbers
The Josh Doctson Achilles injury situation drags on. Jay Gruden said yesterday that there is no timetable for him taking the practice field. With about three and a half weeks to go until the Redskins take on the Steelers in their season opener, there can’t be too many more delays until they push into the regular season.
There is beginning to be talk of the possibility of having Doctson start the season on the physically unable to perform list. That is a move that has some advantages but carries some significant downside as well.
Doctson is eligible to go on in-season PUP because he was put on the PUP list at the start of training camp. If he comes off of the list for one day, he can’t go back on it.
If he stays on the PUP list until September 3, the day the roster has to be cut to 53 players, the team will have the option to put him on in-season PUP. If that happens, Doctson will not count against the roster limit. Assuming he still can’t play by the, that might be the right move to make. Instead of tying up a roster spot on a player who will have to be inactive for each game the Redskins could get help in another area.
But a player on PUP is not only prohibited from playing for six weeks, he can’t even practice for six weeks. That means that if Doctson is ready to go physically after, say, two weeks he can’t even step out on the practice field with his teammates for another four weeks. That would seriously hamper his development for both the short and long term.
Should he remain close to ready to practice when cutdown date rolls around the best move might be to keep him on the 53-man roster. Every week one receiver usually is inactive so why not let Doctson get back to practice when he is ready not when league PUP list rules say he can.
The problem with leaving him on the 53 is that there would be a major issue if he either doesn’t get better at a fast enough pace or if he suffers from a setback. Then the alternatives would be to continue to carry an injured player on the 53, even as injuries at other positions may be mounting, or put Doctson on injured reserve. The team can bring one player back from IR during the course of the year but there may be a more important player on whom the team will have to use that one precious transaction.
(Note: In a change from the previous IR-return program the player who returns does not have to be designated before he goes on the list. Any one player who went on IR after the cut to 53 can be reactivated.)
We have some time for this to play out. Doctson was seen without the walking boot around training camp and Redskins Park for the last several days so perhaps that is a positive sign. But if he’s still injured when it comes time to cut the roster there will be a decision of make and no matter which way they go there will be plenty of risk involved.
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In case you missed it
- Doctson making progress but no timetable for return
- Redskins to see what might have been
- NTK: Reed rules the red zone
- Redskins Training Camp: Back in Ashburn
- Redskins get new locker rooms (VIDEO)
- Sloppy Redskins practice requires Gruden’s loud correction
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