ASHBURN, Va., -- Washington Redskins rookie receiver Josh Doctson showed exuberance about a possible return via Twitter on Monday. Though his excitement didn't manifest itself Tuesday, the Redskins remain convinced it will happen soon.
Doctson, who hasn't practiced since May 25 because of Achilles tendonitis, tweeted Monday that it was "Go time". But go did not mean being activated off the physically unable to perform list -- yet.
— Josh Doctson (@JDoc_son) August 29, 2016
"Let's 'go' back to the training room for him," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said, playing off Doctson's tweet. "No, he's close. He's getting a little antsy. I threw to him again and he looks better. I don't think he's got full-speed burst yet, but he's very, very close. He's a very smooth route-runner. He's coming in and out of breaks, snatching everything. So he's very, very close. We can start practicing him very soon."
Gruden and others in the organization have expressed optimism all along that Doctson will be ready for the season opener against Pittsburgh. They also believe he'll be able to contribute sooner rather than later, but it will be hard considering he hasn't worked against NFL defenders at even practice speed since being drafted in the first round in April. Doctson did work against the veterans in organized team activity workouts, but was hurt May 25 -- and players always talk about the intensity increasing in training camp.
The Redskins likely would have a handful of plays and routes in which they can use Doctson to help ease his transition. They hope the 6-foot-2 Doctson can eventually become a good red-zone target and, in part because of his leaping ability, another downfield option.
The Redskins are in a good spot with Doctson in that they don't need him to contribute immediately. They have plenty of talent at receiver with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder, in addition to tight end Jordan Reed, among others. Doctson is eventually expected to back up both Garcon and Jackson as outside receivers. With both veterans free agents after next season, Doctson's role would be elevated in 2017.