After sitting out the Redskins first three preseason games, head coach Jay Gruden previously said that rookie first-round wide receiver Josh Doctson could play in the fourth and final preseason game. On Monday, Gruden closed the door on that possibility, but opened bigger, more important doors.
"We're going to hold him out the fourth preseason game," Gruden said. The coach then added that Week 1 against the Steelers is "definitely" a possibility.
Doctson hasn't practiced the entire training camp session after an Achilles injury limited his ability to run. Monday, however, Doctson ran routes, with his coach playing quarterback.
"He's coming along, he ran some individual cuts," Gruden said. "I was able to throw to him a little bit, watch him in person, he looked good coming in and out of breaks, looked very good."
MORE REDSKINS: IF CULLEN JENKINS IS IN, WHO'S OUT?
Doctson still only watched practice, but it's obvious he is getting closer to being out there with his teammates. Walking off the trainer's field, Doctson complemented his coach's arm before saying he's definitely feeling better.
What playing time awaits Doctson remains a mystery, as DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon are locked into their roster spots while Jamison Crowder mans the slot role. In a way, that is good news for Doctson, as he won't be forced into more action than he's ready for, at least early on.
The Redskins have signed some veteran help for their defensive line. The inevitable ripple effects of bringing in Cullen Jenkins will take several days to play out.
At 6-3 and around 300 pounds, Jenkins is not the run stuffer that many have been expecting the team to sign all year. He is more of a pass rusher at this point, with 47.5 sacks in his 12 NFL seasons, including three with the Giants last year.
The addition of Jenkins likely puts one of the players who was going to make the 53-man roster in jeopardy of getting cut. They will keep six or seven defensive lineman. Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Kendall Reyes, and Ricky Jean Francois are locks. Ziggy Hood has performed well enough to earn a spot and Matt Ioannidis is likely to make it because the team invested a fifth-round draft pick in him. That makes six.
The candidates for the seventh spot are Jenkins, Stephen Paea, and rookie Anthony Lanier II. If they were happy with Paea the probably would not have signed Jenkins. It looks like Paea, who has been a disappointing free agent signing, could well be on the outside looking in.
In the big picture, the addition of Jenkins puts the Redskins up to 79 players on the roster. They have to be down to the limit of 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The final cut to 53 is due at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Washington won its second preseason game Friday night and the team had the weekend off from practices. Monday the Redskins get back on the training fields at 1 p.m. though with a lighter squad than last week. The team cut 10 players over the weekend, and as teams all over the league trim their rosters, speculation will run rampant about possible additions to the Redskins roster. For now, let's focus on who is already in Washington, not who isn't. (More on Bryan Stork, Pot Roast, Paul Kruger here).
1) Josh Doctson's arrival? - The Redskins rookie first-round pick hasn't practiced or played all preseason or training camp. He has been running with trainers and head coach Jay Gruden hinted that the receiver could play in the fourth and final preseason game. Mercifully, that game is almost here, as the 'Skins travel to Tampa Thursday night to close out the exhibition campaign. However remote the chance, if Doctson is to play in that game, he will likely need to practice Monday and Tuesday.
2) Roster trim - GM Scot McCloughan and his staff released 10 players over the weekend and will need to cut five more by Tuesday night to get to the limit of 75 players. Monday's practice could bring increased pressure as some guys realize they are fighting for a spot.
3) Eyes on crowder - It hasn't been the easiest August for Washington slot recover Jamison Crowder. He missed the preseason opener with a hamstring issue and missed the third preseason game with knee trouble. By most accounts the injuries aren't severe and would not have limited Crowder in regular season action. Still, the team would like to have Crowder back in practice with his teammates and away from the medical staff.
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