Wind the clocks back about two months, and Jahan Dotson was not only one of the Washington Commanders' best weapons, but he was also among the most potent red zone threats in the league.
Prior to suffering a hamstring injury in Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys, Dotson was tied with Stefon Diggs for the most receiving touchdowns in the league. The quickness in his routes near the goal line proved to be a difficult challenge for defensive backs, and his sure hands were the direct reason Washington won its Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It took six weeks for Dotson to get back on the field, and since then he has just two catches for 27 yards. Obviously, Dotson wants to get more production than that, but his focus right now is getting back to the rhythm he had to start the season.
"It's tough," Dotson said. "You don't realize it, but [six] weeks is a long time, and you kind of lose your rhythm a little bit. These past couple weeks, I've just been trying to get my rhythm back, get my feet underneath me."
Conditioning is not an issue for Dotson; he still feels strong despite the fact that he only practiced a handful of days in the six weeks between the Cowboys game and his return against the Eagles in Week 10. However, he does want to make sure that he is polishing up his footwork on certain routes. The Commanders have already seen how effective Dotson can be when he is at his best. His footwork was a key component in touchdowns against the Jaguars and Detroit Lions, when he was able to create a few extra inches of space that helped him secure the scores.
On top of that, Dotson is now working with a new quarterback, as Taylor Heinicke has taken over as the starter. Heinicke has a different style compared to that of Wentz, but just as he was with the previous quarterback, Dotson is confident in Heinicke.
"I wouldn't say it's too difficult," Dotson said of adjusting to Heinicke. "We have quarterbacks in this room that can put the ball where it needs to be."
It would be a benefit to Washington if Dotson can get back into a groove this week during Washington's game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have had an uneven season but can put up points with their running game that ranks third in the NFL. The Commanders also have plenty of playmakers, but having Dotson be productive in the red zone would be another asset Atlanta would need to account for.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the Commanders' team mascot, Mando.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about Carson Wentz taking the high road in return to practice.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes that Carson Wentz understands the decision to keep Heinicke as the starter.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux reports that Chase Young is making progress but remains day-to-day.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes that Brian Robinson is grateful for life.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig looks at the Commanders' playoff hopes.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about how the Commanders became a team of sneakerheads.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier also writes about how Chase Young will fit in on the Commanders' defensive line.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the Commanders activating Chase Young.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras looks at the Commanders riding the high of winning five of the last six games.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd reports on London Fletcher being named a Hall of Fam semifinalist.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey explains why the Commanders are succeeding with Taylor Heinicke.
The Washington Commanders have wrapped up their first day of practice this week. Here are the best photos from Wednesday afternoon. (Photos by Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders)
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Practice report | Wentz looking to help Heinicke succeed in any way possible
- Commanders vs. Falcons preview | Taking on the ATL
- Being named starter a full circle moment for Heinicke
- London Fletcher, Henry Ellard named HOF semifinalists
- From the booth | Getting way too far ahead of ourselves
- Chase Young activated to 53-man roster
- 5 takeaways from Washington's win over Houston
- 3 numbers to know from Washington's win against Houston
- Commanders-Texans Stats & Snaps
- Instant analysis | Commanders' defense smothers Houston in 23-10 victory
- Game balls | 3 standouts from Washington's win in Houston