Redskins rookie Josh Doctson still not running as he recovers from Achilles issue

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins rookie receiver Josh Doctson could return for the last two games of the regular season -- but to do so he’ll have to soon start doing something he hasn’t in a while: run.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Doctson, who is on injured reserve with an Achilles’ injury, remains upbeat and “seems to be doing better.” If the Redskins wanted to, they could designate him for an early return off injured reserve. He’s not eligible for that, however, until Week 16.

They could be they opt for someone else beforehand (possibly center Kory Lichtensteiger, whom Gruden said is “close” to being healthy after his calf injury). But if they have a need at receiver, they could wait to see if Doctson, their first-round pick, is ready. The problem is, he’s been mostly hurt since May 25 and therefore hasn’t practiced much against an NFL defense. Expecting him to miss most of the offseason workouts and then 12 of the first 14 games and then contribute is asking a lot. But that also could depend on whether the other receivers are healthy.

Regardless, Gruden said, “As far as running and sprinting, he’s not doing that yet.”

That means Doctson would have a lot of work to do if they indeed want to consider bringing him back this season. Given what he’s endured since first suffering the injury May 25, the best course might just be to give him even more time and make sure he’s healthy for next season. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both free agents, that’s when the Redskins will need him most.