Josh Doctson was able to get back to the field for the regular season after being sidelined with an Achilles injury, but the rookie wide receiver is having to adjust to the NFL in a hurry.
High hopes have surrounded rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson since the Redskins took him 22nd overall in this past April's draft.
After months of dealing with several injuries and missing almost all of Redskins training camp, Doctson has only been practicing at full health for less than two weeks. Now healthy, the former TCU All-American is looking to find a role in the Redskins offense.
"This last week was my first full week of practice in the NFL," Doctson said. "I'm fighting through a lot of stuff. I'm not trying to make excuses; I just got to get in a rhythm."
Doctson had one reception for 57 yards in the Redskins 27-23 defeat on Sunday to the Cowboys, as he streaked down field before hauling in a deep pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins. It was the longest reception by a Redskins rookie wide receiver since 2001.
He was targeted on four other occasions, with most of those coming in the red zone on fade routes.
"Well, a lot of times we see a 1-on-1 matchup. We like to take a chance with a fade or back shoulder fade," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said after the loss. "We did have Jordan Reed, Josh Doctson, Pierre [Garçon] – you know, great one-on- one matchups outside. I like to think I'll take advantage of that any day all day, we just didn't win them today."
At 6-foot-2, the Redskins drafted Doctson with the hopes of him becoming a top red zone threat. It's only time before he becomes one.
"They gave the look we wanted, that's why we threw the fades," Doctson said. "If they're going to target me in the end zone, I have to make something happen. That's on me. Not on Kirk, who threw some good balls, I just have to come down with them."
The Redskins have struggled in the red zone thus far in 2016, and will need Doctson – as well as their other red zone threats – to step up as their conversion rate stands at just 30 percent.
"We feel like we can be better in the red zone," Cousins said. "It's the same thing in any game when you come up short or when you win. You can go back and point to red zone offense or converting third downs or protecting the football. It's reasons for a win or a loss. Right now in those areas, I don't know if we're good enough or if we've been good enough."
With all the time Doctson missed this offseason, he is still trying to find chemistry with Cousins. The more reps he gets, the better the chemistry will be as he continues to improve. That will continue this week against a revamped New York Giants defense that allowed just one touchdown pass from Drew Brees in Week 2.
"I'm proud of myself for pushing through it," Doctson said. "I can't just push through it; I have to do something if I want to play. I'm going to get better."