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Need to Know: The pros and cons of the Redskins putting Doctson on PUP

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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  1. colorofmyskinz - Aug 18, 2016 at 6:08 AM

    Great. They always downplay everyone’s injuries. Every year. Remember Kerrigan last year??? He and the organization assured us that his little scope was no big deal, precautionairy so it does not develop soreness through the year, and would have no impact on his play at all. Remember that? And in hindsight when you talk to Kerrigan after the year, he devuldges that he did not feel right and confident on his knee until middle of the season and that is what caused his lackluster play. Remember?

    Oh it is just a little tweak… Remember that with how they described DJax hamstring last year. And it had him out half the season.

    Listen, the fact is they downplay every injury they report on. The injuries are always way more of an issue than they lead us to believe.

    Do with Doctson I would have to imagine it is much worse than they are leading on to. I would not except him to take the field for the first half of the year by what we are seeing. I would consider his impact this year to be pretty much more of a test him on the field to see if he can replace Garcon or DJax. Other than that, I would not expect major impact on our year from him. Maybe he comes on as a threat in November or December, or maybe in time for the play offs.

    What worries me most is Trent Williams and Reed and them downplaying their injuries. We might not see either of these guys on the field until the Steelers. And that is hopefull by the downplayed reporting.


    • cpst123 - Aug 18, 2016 at 6:57 AM

      Darnerien McCants Remember?

      I hope I’m wrong and Doctson isn’t another tall bust.

      • redskins12thman - Aug 18, 2016 at 7:40 AM

        McCants was a low rounder; not apt comparison because my expectations of what he could offer were much lower. I think Desmond Howard (even if smaller build), Michael Westbrook, Rod Gardner and Devin Thomas (the latter only a 2nd rounder) are the disappointment zone comparison; Charley Taylor and Art Monk being the brightest upside.

        To be honest, I didn’t understand why more people were asking, why didn’t we take a d-lineman or Laquon Treadwell. I like Doctson as a person but Treadwell is 2.5 years younger and already demonstrated he could return from an injury.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM

          Doctson has qualities that Treadwell doesn’t. And the 2.5 years age difference is nothing for a rookie. Drafting a player is a 4-5 year rental. That’s it. There’s no guarantee they’ll stick around after that. So take the guy you think is going to play the better than the other guy throughout their rookie contract.

          Treadwell has qualities Doctson doesn’t too. It’s kind of a preference thing. I personally like what Doctson brings, and I guess McCloughan did too. And I guess Cleveland liked Corey Coleman better. And Houston liked Fuller better. Allegedly, even Minnessota was upset that those 3 guys went and they had to take Treadwell. I thought the pre draft hype over that way was extremely overblown and it was nice to see actual NFL scouting departments back that up. Doctson was a great prospect and a really good selection. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good pick at the time.

        • redskins12thman - Aug 18, 2016 at 3:41 PM

          Thanks. I really hope Doctson works out better than Howard, Westbrook, Gardner and Thomas.

      • hail74 - Aug 18, 2016 at 9:29 AM

        I think labeling him as a bust because of this would be just a bit of an overreaction. Seems to me a few first rounders this year are hurt. I would’ve loved if Sheldon rankins dropped to us. If he had and still broken his fibula would you be saying “remember Bobby Wilson”?

        • sidepull - Aug 18, 2016 at 2:36 PM

          I was pulling for Rankins. I was pulling for Booker in the 4th. Be glad I am not in charge of anything talent related. I thought Scot was going to nail that C until Indy jumped on him. Look he got hurt too. Doctson is going to be fine. Thye have some time to bring him along slowly so whats the rush?

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 18, 2016 at 2:53 PM

          There is no rush, and that’s he point. Rookies are rarely part of the immediate plan to help a team. They have to be very special (aka top 5-10) for that to be the plan. We can afford to let Doctson heal. Be thankful for that people.

          But also, just because a player gets injured doesn’t mean they were a bad pick. Stuff happens, and you never know if that same injury would have happened with another team. Rankins, Booker, Kelly… those were all good prospects for the time they were taken. I didn’t think there was any way Kelly would fall to us, but you’re right for thinking McCloughan probably would have taken him if he was available.

          Take Donte Fowler Jr. Top 5 pick who blows out his ACL on a non-contact play the first time he steps on the field. You can’t say he was a bad pick because if that. Maybe Washington takes him instead and he doesn’t year his knee up on a different field. Maybe Jacksonville takes Sherff and he tears a peck in the weight room. Now, I think Fowler was a bad pick for other reasons. But, if he fails, people will look at that injury and say that’s why he was a bad pick. Which is just nonsense.

        • goback2rfk - Aug 18, 2016 at 5:14 PM

          Doctson is a younger, slower, Pierre Garcon with good hands. Loosing him for a little bit does not seem to be that big of a deal. He is a great prospect but he is no Jerry Rice. Now if you said Jackson was out till week 6 I might change my mind.
          All this means is Garcon and Jackson will have to play big. I hope Jackson has a really big year. Tons of long bombs. We are a passing offense. Pass first and run with the draw.

        • Trey Gregory - Aug 18, 2016 at 7:54 PM

          Just go ahead that you’ve never watched Doctson play and you came to that conclusion from a quick glance at his combine profile. Because, had you ever actually watched Doctson, you would know how ridiculous you sound.

          I love having Garcon. I would be perfectly happy if Doctson truly was a carbon copy of him. But he’s not.

          And the draw doesn’t work if it’s all you do.

      • John - Aug 18, 2016 at 11:48 AM

        I think you mean Malcom Kelly. Total bust from the class of 2008. Never healthy enough. McCants was back from Spurrier’s time.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 18, 2016 at 7:22 AM

      There are some signs that the Redskins don’t always have a handle on the worst case scenario related to injuries or, more likely, do not feel there’s any need to convey that information, but this may also have something to do with what players are conveying to the team. We’ll see if there are any changes with the new head doctor recently appointed. In Doctson’s case, for instance, I don’t believe he accurately conveyed how he was feeling so the doctors did not accurately gauge his status at first; perhaps the Redskins could have started some treatment earlier had they known the severity of his injury. I think Doctson was hoping to return to the field much earlier, and others were counting on that too; remember, that’s why Scot injured his hand toward the beginning of training camp.

      I think Doctson’s injury status will determine whether he stays on PUP or returns to the roster as just one of the 53 players; in the latter case, Sudfeld and Doctson would be the first two on the non-active designees until Doctson was ready to play again. I think an IR designation will not happen as it’s important to reserve that for a starter who may get injured during the season and may have a chance to return before the end of it. If Doctson is no where close to being able to play by the time September 3rd roles around, I think Doctson would be placed on the PUP to offer the roster spot to someone who could contribute.

      I am okay for not playing any veteran in preseason games until September as long as they didn’t do a position/role change (e.g., the safeties should be getting reps) and they keep up with their conditioning and skills training in weekly practices. I would not risk a preseason injury to a starter but especially Williams and Reed, two of the three most valuable Redskins.

    • bangkokben - Aug 18, 2016 at 10:34 AM

      What I remember is Odell Beckham Jr. being drafted “too high” by the Giants, injured throughout training camp, missing the first quarter of the season, and then becoming All-World. Let’s see how this story plays out before we get our panties in a bunch.

      • Trey Gregory - Aug 18, 2016 at 1:21 PM

        Exactly Ben. Exactly. Doctson is an amazing talent. That doesn’t mean he will be good in the NFL, but he has all the tools. People should be very excited he’s on our team. Yeah, it’s disappointing he’s having issues. But this will eventually clear up and he will be on the field. The Chiefs just got a player back from cancer for crying out loud guys. People don’t stay injured forever. Doctson, eventually, will get better. Ill put my sterling reputation on the line and guarantee it!

        It’s foolish to expect anyone drafted outside the top 10 to contribute right away. You can hope and pray for it, but that shouldn’t be the gameplan. They’re rookies. We don’t need Doctson to contribute this year, so what’s all the fuss about anyway? Let him recover, then come back and learn, and we will see him starting in 2017. That should be the expectation. If he pulls an Odell out of nowhere, then that’s just the cherry.

  2. RuddyJamesDIO - Aug 18, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    Geez Doctson…..I wish one time that the Redskins could get a break….OMG

    • Trey Gregory - Aug 18, 2016 at 2:37 PM

      It’s really, truly, not that big of a deal. My standard setting is pessimistic and even I’m not that concerned about it. Of course it would be better for him to be fully healthy, but this isn’t a huge deal. He will get bett, I promise, and play eventually. Worse case scenerio is he doesn’t suit up until 2017. But you’re doing just fine if your worst case scenario is DJax, Garcon, Crowder, and Jordan Reed as your top 4 receivers. All is well.

    • goback2rfk - Aug 18, 2016 at 5:09 PM

      Its bad. Real bad. They need to place him on the PUP list and let someone that can stay healthy fill his spot. Doctson is shut down till week 6.

  3. Mr.moneylover - Aug 18, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    There gonna go into the season with Ryan grant and rashad Ross but if they struggle one will be release and they will take josh doctson off the pup list….something telling me jarrell powe gonna make the roster especially if the interior of the defensive line don’t create more pressure we kept seeing QBs step up when the DEs and pass rushers got pressure… I think Kendrick Gholston got to do a better job or needs to be release… I’m pretty sure redskins don’t want to just throw away they 2 projects they been working on in Corey Crawford and jarrell powe…redskins still not happy with Stephen Paea play and right now he’s on the outside looking in from what I was told that’s why he’s been working with third team

  4. Trey Gregory - Aug 18, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    I would like to see him stay off the PUP. Unless it’s just abundantly clear that the injury is worse than originally thought. Even if he takes 3 weeks into the season to return to practice, those 3 extra weeks he will be able to return will be very valuable to a rookie receiver. It’s a gamble, but I think he’s worth it.

    • redskins12thman - Aug 18, 2016 at 3:43 PM

      If his health warrants it, I’m in full agreement.

    • goback2rfk - Aug 18, 2016 at 5:26 PM

      He is going on the PUP. The receiving core is relatively deep and we will have to get by without him. Nobody is labeling him a bust. Its way to early for that. He probably will turn out to be great. But it looks like he a bust.

  5. goback2rfk - Aug 18, 2016 at 5:05 PM

    Those burgers look disgusting and certainly and weird pic to tweet. Anyways,

    To all you jokers who sent Rg3 his wedding gifts he is getting divorced and is now banging a smoking hot Estonian blonde babe. Rob even tatoo’d the chicks name on his arm. What a loser! Haha. Glad we got the chump week 4! Thats if he is not beat out for the starting role by Jake McClown!

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 18, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Landry Jones has thrown 3 INTs already.

    • Trey Gregory - Aug 18, 2016 at 8:19 PM

      It’s not easy to find a good NFL QB.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Aug 18, 2016 at 8:22 PM

        4 INTs, one half.

        Against the Iggle D. I think the Steelers are in the market for a backup QB.

        • goback2rfk - Aug 19, 2016 at 12:03 AM

          I know one team that is not in the market for a QB. The Browns. Old Rob actually had his first decent game in years.

  7. goback2rfk - Aug 18, 2016 at 11:23 PM

    The steak actually pretty darn good. Give me one of those. Archives

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