Josh Doctson returns, but status uncertain for Packers game

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins receiver Josh Doctson didn't need to say a whole lot after practicing for the first time in nine days Wednesday. He kept it simple.

"I'm good," he said. "It feels good."

And that, clearly, is good news for the Redskins, who could use a healthy Doctson on the field. The second-year receiver participated in individual drills but did not take part in one-on-one or full-team work.

Doctson injured his hamstring in Richmond on August 6. At the time, he was rather upset, heading to the locker room with a towel over his head. But some of that frustration could have stemmed from the fact that he was off to a good start after having missed all but two games last season with Achilles issues.

Coach Jay Gruden hasn't ruled out Doctson for Saturday's second preseason game, against Green Bay. He said he'll listen to what the trainers and Doctson have to say and see how he does at practice.

"[Thursday] we're going to see how much more he can do and then we'll make a decision on Saturday," Gruden said.

Doctson needs to be healthy for the season, but he also needs more work at receiver. Before his injury, Doctson showed a lot of what he could do in practice. He was a smooth route-runner and capable of athletic catches because of his 6-foot-2 height and 40-inch vertical jump.

In his absence, Ryan Grant continues to work with the starting group as the No. 3 receiver. But Doctson's absence, coupled with tight end Jordan Reed remaining on the physically unable to perform list, makes it tough for the passing game to develop a good rhythm.

It helped that receiver Jamison Crowder was full-go Wednesday and that receiver Terrelle Pryor, tight end Vernon Davis and running back Chris Thompson -- key parts -- haven't missed any time.

Reed's absence is more critical because he's the focal point of the passing game. Though he said he would "be back shortly," it's still uncertain when that will be. He had worked off to the side throughout camp in Richmond, but Wednesday didn't do anything on the field. Reed is wearing a wider cleat on his left foot and using orthotics.

But for Doctson, Wednesday was a good step. The Redskins can't rush his return, but they also need him working with the starters in practice.