Josh Doctson is inching closer to an on-field return, and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden believes he'll be ready to go once the regular season rolls around.
Josh Doctson could be back on the field as early as next week for the Washington Redskins' preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept 1.
With the 22nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected wide receiver Josh Doctson of TCU. Take a look at his collegiate career in photos.
Doctson has slowly been increasing his rehab work in an effort to get back to the field prior to Washington's regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 12.
"He did the route tree today, which is very positive – not 100 percent yet obviously – he's not running full-speed but he's doing a lot more now than he did a week ago, which the progress that we see is a very, very good sign for us," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. "I have total expectation that he's going to be ready Week 1, possibly the fourth preseason game, but we'll still see. Like I said, it's a new injury to me."
Doctson has been dealing with an Achilles injury for a few months now that forced him to watch the entirety of his first professional training camp from the sidelines.
While he was only able to do some catching and light calisthenics while at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., Gruden believes Doctson is "in good shape right now mentally."
"He's getting all of the mental reps he can," Gruden said. "He's been working in the meeting rooms and he is studying the game and he is a very bright kid. He understands football, which is good."
Now comes the more difficult part in his transition, though, one in which he's a few steps behind the rest of his rookie teammates: building chemistry with the quarterbacks.
"You know, the timing and the routes and the definition and the depths and all of that where you have to actually run them with your footwork," Gruden said. "That's the one thing that we have to work through, so how much he plays early in the season, I don't know yet but I do know that the little bit we did see of him in the OTAs and rookie minicamp, I think that he's got the ability to do whatever we ask him to do. Obviously, we wouldn't take him in the first round if he didn't have the skillset that we could find something for him to do somewhere on the field."
Doctson was selected with the No. 22-overall pick in April's NFL Draft. At the conclusion of his freshman season at Wyoming, Doctson transferred to TCU where he would eventually become one of the top collegiate wide receivers in the country.
Even with a wrist injury suffered midway through his senior season, Doctson caught a school-record 79 passes for 1,327 yards in 2015, including a school-record 14 touchdown receptions.
He finished his TCU career setting school records in receiving yards (2,785) and touchdown catches (29).
The Redskins currently have 13 wide receivers on the roster, as Doctson is joined by veterans Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garçon, Ryan Grant, DeSean Jackson and Rashad Ross along with fellow rookies Reggie Diggs, Maurice Harris, Valdez Showers, Dez Stewart, Kendal Thompson, T.J. Thorpe and Jarvis Turner.