September 22, 2020

Redskins open 2013 preseason with win over Titans


More notable for players that didn’t play than did, the Washington Redskins — at least those in camp trying to win positions or make the roster — opened their preseason play with a 22-21 win over the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville.

The Skins held most of their starters on the sidelines, including rehabbing QB Robert Griffin III and second-year RB Alfred Morris. The ones that suited up, though, gave head coach Mike Shanahan an irrelevant preseason win to kick off the four-game campaign before things get going for real — a Sept. 9 Monday night regular season opener against division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Backup and second-year QB Kirk Cousins performed admirably in his two series of play, finishing the night 6-for-7 for 52 yards with a three-yard touchdown to TE Fred Davis, returning from his Achilles injury of last season. On the play, Cousins faked a pitch to RB Roy Helu, Jr. to the left, then rolled right and found Davis in front of the goal post for the relatively easy score.

The touchdown capped the second drive of the game for the Skins. Cousins went 4-for-4 on the drive with 36 yards The TD pass ended Cousins’ performance for the evening, but the young signal caller got good work in with the offense and looked comfortable leading the Skins while he was under center.

Davis, playing in his first game since surgery to repair the Achilles injury, caught two balls for 14 yards with the first team offense.

Helu, looking to make an impact as a third down back and capable backup to Morris, ran for 57 yards on 13 carries behind a somewhat make-shift line that did not include LT Trent Williams, just one of eight Skins starters that were held out of the preseason opener.

Veteran backup QB Rex Grossman took over for Cousins and had a mixed bag of success (10-for-21, 119 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int.), but did hit Leonard Hankerson for an eight-yard touchdown strike that tied the game at 14 just before the end of the first half. Hankerson, still trying to establish himself as a reliable target in the offense, made four catches for 38 yards.

Ten Skins receivers in all made receptions on the evening.

Third string QB Pat White made the best of a late-game opportunity, leading the Skins on a 12-play, 80-yard drive, culminating in White’s nine-yard touchdown run and subsequent two-point conversion to reserve TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi to provide the difference in the final score.

Defensive leader Brian Orakpo returned to the field after missing much of 2012 with a torn pectoral injury, and the veteran looked like he hadn’t missed a day at all. He put pressure on Titans QB Jake Locker on several occasions, including registering a sack on Tennessee’s third possession of the game, sprinting past Titans’ LT Michael Roos and catching up with Locker on a strong outside rush.

Because of multiple injuries to veteran defensive backs, three rookie draft picks — Safties Baccari Rambo and Phillip Thomas and CB David Amerson — started for the Skins to mixed results. Amerson almost had an interception and recorded three tackles, but Rambo was juked by Titans RB Chris Johnson en route to a 58-yard touchdown run, was similarly faked by Titans backup RB Shonn Green for a 19-yard score, and pushed Green after the run to draw a 15-yard penalty.

Thomas, a fourth-round pick from Fresno state, left the game in the first quarter after suffering a right shoulder and left foot injury on the same play. Replays showed Thomas’ foot got caught underneath the ball carrier on the tackle and the team announced he was held from the rest of the game due to the foot injury.

NOTES: In addition to Griffin, Morris and Williams, the Skins also played without WR Pierre Garcon, DBs DeAngelo Hall, Brandon Merriweather and Josh Wilson, and NT Barry Cofield.

Washington Redskins Re-sign Tight End Fred Davis Agree To One-Year Deal

It took a little longer than expected, but Redskins tight end Fred Davis has decided to stay in Washington. According to multiple reports, Davis agreed to a one-year contract Friday morning to remain with the team through 2013.

The 27-year old tight end made his decision to return to the Redskins after being briefly courted by teams such as the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. But in the end, he decided that Washington was still the best fit for him.

Davis, who is entering his sixth season in the NFL, is coming off a serious achilles tendon injury that ended his season in a Week 7 game against the New York Giants. It appears other teams in the league were reluctant to sign him to a long term deal because of his health issues and his history of violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Add in the fact that the Redskins had the best quarterback situation among the teams interested in him, and it’s easy to see why Davis chose to return for another year.

The one year deal is a win-win for both sides. For the team, it’s a low-risk signing to bring back one of their most explosive players on offense. For Davis, it’s a chance to get healthy, perform at a high level, and get paid in 2014.

Despite the team’s salary cap troubles due to the league’s $18 million dollar penalty, the Redskins’ have been able to continue their offseason trend of keeping their own. With Davis back in the fold, they have now handed out 11 new contracts to players who were on the team in 2012. The only major contributor to sign elsewhere was Pro Bowl special teamer Lorenzo Alexander, who left for the Arizona Cardinals.

Washington Redskins Roster Moves: Chris Cooley, Keiland Williams, DJ Johnson all return

The Washington Redskins have made several moves this week in the wake of Sunday’s last-minute loss to the New York Giants. On Monday, the team placed TE Fred Davis on the reserve/injured list — ending his season due to an Achilles injury — and signed former Skins’ TE Chris Cooley.

Cooley (6-3, 243), a fan favorite and the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions by a tight end, was released by the Redskins on Aug. 28, 2012. He spent his first eight seasons with the Redskins and posted 428 receptions for 4,703 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns.

“I called Chris when we landed,” Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters Monday afternoon. “I asked him what type of shape he was in. He said he was in pretty good shape. I asked him if he would like to come back. He said he did. We’re excited to have him. I trust Chris. If he says he’s in good shape, he’s in good shape. Hopefully he can help us this next week.”

Today, the team announced signing of two more familiar faces to the burgundy and gold, adding RB Keiland Williams to the roster and CB Domonique Johnson to the practice squad. RB Ryan Grant was released to make room for Williams, while Emmanuel Arceneaux was let go to add Johnson. Both players have been with the Skins before, with Williams seeing game action in 2010 with five total touchdowns that season.

Below is the team’s press release on Williams and Johnson.

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have signed free agent running back Keiland Williams and released running back Ryan Grant. The team also signed cornerback Domonique “D.J.” Johnson to its practice squad and waived wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux from its practice squad.

Williams (5-11, 230), now in his third NFL season, rejoins the Redskins, the team that originally signed him as a college free agent on April 29, 2010. Williams has played in 35 career games with three starts, compiling 125 rushing attempts for 459 yards and five rushing touchdowns. He also has 49 career receptions for 380 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

Williams spent his rookie season in 2010 with the Redskins, rushing 65 times for 261 yards with three rushing touchdowns and adding 39 receptions for 309 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He was acquired off waivers by the Detroit Lions on Sept. 4, 2011, and played in 20 games with Detroit from 2011-12 before being released on Oct. 18.

Williams played collegiately at LSU, where he played in 47 games with three starts, rushing for 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was part of the 2007 squad that defeated Ohio State to win the BCS National Championship. Originally from Lafayette, La., he was born on Aug. 14, 1986, and attended Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va, where he became the first running back in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards (1,325 as a senior).

Johnson (6-1, 191) spent Weeks 10-12 on the Redskins’ active roster during the 2011 season but was inactive for all three games. He has appeared in 10 NFL games, all with the New York Giants, playing in three games in 2009 and seven games in 2010. In addition to his time with the Redskins, Johnson has appeared on the active roster or practice squad of the Giants, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts during his career.

Johnson played collegiately at Missouri from 2004-06 before transferring to Jackson State. He played in 24 career games in two seasons at Jackson State where he totaled 66 tackles, 27 passes defended and 10 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. In 2008, he was named second-team All-America by the Associated Press and first-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference. He was born on Nov. 7, 1985, in Texas City, Texas, and attended La Marque (Texas) H.S.

Grant (6-1, 222) was signed by the Redskins as a free agent on Sept. 26, 2012. He appeared in one game with Washington, rushing once for five yards. Arceneaux (6-2, 215) was signed to the Redskins’ practice squad on Sept. 3, 2012.

Washington Redskins franchise TE Fred Davis

The Washington Redskins placed their franchise tag on a player that was suspended for four games at the end of last season for violation of the NFL’s recreational drug policy. Tight end Fred Davis, who put up a career year regardless of missing the last quarter of the season, was franchised by the Skins today, which will pay him the average of the top five players at his position for 2012.

In addition, the Redskins tendered exclusive rights on kicker Graham Gano and restricted free agent guard Kory Lichtensteiger. Lichtensteiger spent much of last season on the Injured Reserve and will receive a significant raise in salary.

Press release:

ASHBURN, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have placed the franchise tag on tight end Fred Davis and tendered exclusive rights free agent kicker Graham Gano and restricted free agent guard Kory Lichtensteiger. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Davis, 26, is coming off a career season in which he established single-season highs in receptions (59) and receiving yards (796). The 796 yards were the fourth-most in a season by a tight end in Redskins history. During his four-year NFL career, Davis has recorded 131 receptions for 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Gano, 24, converted 31-of-41 field goal attempts in 2011, establishing a career high for field goals made in a season. The 31 field goals made matched Chip Lohmiller (1991) for the second-most field goals made in a season in team history. In Week 9 against San Francisco, Gano established a new Redskins record for longest field goal made by converting a 59-yard attempt.

Lichtensteiger, 26, played in five games in 2011, starting all five at left guard before being placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a knee injury. Lichtensteiger has appeared in 37 career games with 19 starts in three seasons of NFL service.


Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Redskins coverage on Twitter @RedskinsDSP.

Davis and Williams suspensions latest black eye for Skins

Skins fans won’t have Trent Williams to kick around anymore this season. (photo by Brian Murphy)

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now that Washington Redskins TE Fred Davis and tackle Trent Williams were suspended for four games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.  According to an NFL spokeperson, their suspensions begin immediately. They will be eligible to return to the Redskins’ active roster on Monday, January 2 following the team’s January 1 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. [Read more…]

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