The Redskins are left without one of their top offensive weapons for the remainder of the year after tight end Fred Davis suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Washington's 27-23 loss to the New York Giants.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed Davis' diagnosis in the postgame press conference.
Davis suffered the injury in the first quarter while running a route in the end zone on the Redskins' first drive of the game. He had to be helped off the field by the team's medical staff and was immediately taken to the locker room for further evaluation.
"I knew that when I couldn't walk for at least five or 10 minutes, it was something serious," Davis said after the game. "I was running the route, a little move route, and I stuck my leg."
Davis entered the game as the team's leading receiver, and ends his 2012 season with 24 catches for 325 yards.
But guard Chris Chester said he was equally impressed with Davis' blocking ability.
"I noticed when I first got here last year how good of a blocker he was," Chester said of Davis. "A lot of tight ends are kind of one-dimensional, and I think Fred has a really good all-around game.
"It's tough when you lose a player with the caliber of blocking and as a receiver as Fred."
Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen were immediately tasked with filling in for Davis, who each bring their own strengths to the position.
Paul acknowledged after Sunday's loss that filling in for Davis won't be easy.
"That's a big loss," the second-year Nebraska product said. "A lot of our offense revolved around Fred, him running routes and getting open and making plays. It's a tough loss and obviously me and Logan are going to have to step up and do certain things."
Paulsen immediately responded to Davis' injury Sunday with the best offensive game of his career, catching four passes for 76 yards, including a key catch on fourth down of the Redskins' go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter.
"We had to do that in the game and make plays, and Logan made a lot of big plays," Paul said. "We did extremely well in our protection."
Running back Alfred Morris said he's confident that both Paul and Paulsen will be able to pick up where Davis left off at the tight end position.
"It's a big loss," Morris said. "But we do have guys that are just as good that can get the job done."
Davis said he hopes to bounce back next season for a young and improving Redskins squad.
"I want to be out there and prove [that] every down, if I could play, I would," Davis said. "But there's some situations I have to deal with. [It's the] first time in my career I have to deal with something like this."