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Shanahan says he spoke with Fred Davis

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he has talked with tight end Fred Davis, telling him why he was inactive and what it will take for him to earn more playing time.

That contradicts what Davis told the LaVar and Dukes Show on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday. Davis told the show that he had not spoken to Shanahan in several weeks about his situation.

Davis, a starter the previous two seasons when healthy, was inactive in Sunday’s 45-41 win over the Chicago Bears. Davis had been inactive one other game this season, but that was because of a sprained ankle.

“I sat down with him, especially when he was inactive,” Shanahan said, “and what it takes to play in this league and responsibilities, accountabilities, why people do play and why they don’t. I told him why he wasn’t dressing and if he wanted to dress, what he had to do.”

Davis has fallen behind rookie Jordan Reed and Logan Paulsen on the depth chart. The coaches love Reed’s potential and work ethic, and he’s become their top receiving target at the position. They like what Paulsen gives them as a blocker.

Shanahan also has praised both players’ work ethics in practice. He did not say exactly what he told Davis, but Shanahan pointed out that the pending free agent responded with a good week of practice.

“If someone has been starting and is part of your team and all of a sudden they’re inactive,” Shanahan said, “you let them know why and what it takes to get back to being an active player and doing the things he’s capable of doing.”

There have been reports, too, that the Redskins have shopped Davis. The trade deadline is Tuesday.

Shanahan said when they discuss trading players, “you make a decision if you think you need a draft choice or if you think this person will help you later in the year, especially with an injury. The thing I thought Fred has had an excellent week of practice. Anytime people compete they feel good about who they are and what they do.”

As Davis' playing time has been reduced, there have been questions about those habits, which Davis addressed on the radio show.

"Anybody can make any accusation right now. I’m the same player I’ve been the whole time I’ve been here and that was never said," Davis said. "Now I’m hearing all these things, which is crazy. I know how this game is; when you’re down everyone wants to kick you. … I just feel the only way I can show what I can do is by playing. I’ll just give it my best effort and if it’s somewhere else, I’ll give them my best effort.

“I’m a Redskin right now. Until I hear differently I want to help the team win.”