Like many of his teammates who are also recovering from surgery, Fred Davis has not yet been medically cleared to participate in team drills.
But that day could be coming soon, the Redskins’ tight end told reporters on Thursday.
“I’m right on schedule,” said Davis, who had his Achilles’ tendon repaired in late October. “I was trying to be a seven-month guy. They usually say eight or nine months.”
During OTAs, Davis, who said he’s operating at about 90-percent, will be limited to running routes and catching passes from Robert Griffin III on the portion of the field reserved for recovering players. He’ll also participate in some individual drills, including agility work and pulling a sled.
If all continues to go smoothly, Davis said he hopes to join his healthy teammates in time for mandatory minicamp, which begins June 11. If he’s not ready by then, Davis said he’ll “definitely” be full-go when training camp opens July 25.
“I feel good,” he said. “I’m running routes, making cuts, doing drills, running at my normal speed. I’m just working on more explosion. I feel like I’m at about 90-percent.”
Coach Mike Shanahan said he's pleased with Davis' progress but also indicated that the team's medical staff will proceed cautiously with him.
“The one thing with an Achilles is you don’t want guys pushing off too quickly when they’re blocking, so we’re kind of holding him back a little bit," Shanahan said. "I don’t really want him to go until we get to training camp, give him that extra time to heal up. But right now I think there should be no setback and should go full speed ahead.”
Over the next two weeks, Davis said his goal is to introduce more explosive speed to his running and start working on run blocking and pass protection.
The upcoming season figures to be a critical one for Davis, who had set himself up for a career year in 2012 before tearing his left Achilles’ while running a routine route against the Giants. He signed a one-year contract extension in March, then the Redskins drafted another pass-catching tight end – Jordan Reed – in April’s draft.
Davis said he didn’t consider the selection of Reed to be a threat to his job security. The sixth-year pro considers the No. 1 tight end job to be his and said he intends to earn a long-term contract extension in Washington.
“He was the best on the board for them,” Davis said of Reed, who is also nursing an injury. “He’s a good player. To me, it’s the NFL, there’s always competition. As far as me re-signing [next year], I know what I’m going to do. I don’t what that means for the second tight end.”
From what Davis has been able to see of Reed, though, he said it's possible they could make for a dangerous duo in two tight end packages.
“He’s a good player,” Davis continued. “He’s more like a big receiver. He definitely has good hands and runs good routes. Even though he’s not running [full speed] right now, I can see …he’ll be an added factor. We’re stacked at our position.”