Washington Redskins rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson is still on the physically unable to perform list, but head coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday he expects the 22nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to be ready for the team’s Week 1 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 12.
#Redskins head coach Jay Gruden expects WR Josh Doctson to be ready by Week 1 vs. Steelers.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) August 23, 2016
That might come as a surprise to some, as Doctson has yet to practice fully with the team while recovering from a right Achilles tendon injury. Gruden’s expectations represent a drastic change from what he had to say on the matter last week.
“I don’t have any expectations for him whatsoever,” Gruden said, according to The Washington Post’s Master Tesfatsion. “I’m just trying to listen to what the trainers are telling me and how he’s feeling. I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see. He’s going to progress slowly, and we’ll take our time with him. When he feels right and the time is right, we’ll push him hard and let him practice.”
But even if Doctson eventually suits up for the Redskins’ season opener, it’s tough to gauge how much of an impact he can realistically make. Much of that will hinge upon Doctson’s involvement over the following weeks during practice and Washington’s final two preseason games.
Either way, Doctson is lagging in terms of his development. The best-case scenario might prove to be that Doctson becomes a late bloomer during his rookie season.