Fred Davis had flown under the radar as one of the league’s best receiving tight ends before an Achilles injury cut his 2012 campaign short in Week 7. Davis had played well enough to garner the franchise tag last offseason after grading out as the league’s seventh-best tight end in the purely receiving by Pro Football Focus.
“He might be able to go next week, but I’m going to keep him away even if he wants to go,” Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said, via the Washington Times. “I like what I see on a day-to-day basis. You can see the explosion. I just don’t want him to push against anybody right now. I just don’t want to take that chance when he has an extra month-and-a-half recovery time. And so we won’t push it. But if we were playing next week, I think he might be able to go.”
This is a little concerting after the optimism of a couple weeks ago, but probably nothing to worry about until further update.
“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 in late May, via CSN Washington. “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.”
So they’re now being cautious and keeping him out a bit longer, which is fair enough. Logan Paulsen did a fine job in Davis’ absence and rookie Jordan Reed gives them an interesting and versatile weapon — Aaron Hernandez-like ‘Skins fans hope — but Davis fills the role of your prototypical receiving tight end more perfectly than either. Davis possesses underrated speed for his size that really makes him one of the most dangerous tight ends in this league, and if he can regain that post-Achilles it could be huge for Robert Griffin III and the Shanahans.