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Chris Cooley brings back steadying influence to Redskins
Fan favorite is in the mix at tight end
“I knew the extent of the injury within an hour, and I figured it was inevitable that they would call,” Cooley said.
With Davis lost for the season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon, Cooley got the call from coach Mike Shanahan on Sunday night and officially rejoined the Redskins on Monday. But it remains to be seen how he will be used alongside remaining tight ends Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul.
“The only thing I’ve really heard is that the team is counting on me, counting on me to play. I’m not sure how it’ll be Week 1, I’m not sure how I’ll transition into that,” Cooley said. “I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. I’m just there to do what they ask me to do. Obviously, I want it to be a large role, but if it’s not in Week 1, I’m not going to be unhappy. I’ll be there and do what I need to do. But I think I have a chance to play a large role in this offense.”
Cooley hasn’t played in a regular-season NFL game since Oct. 16, 2011, and Paulsen and Paul did an admirable job filling in for Davis against the New York Giants. Paulsen had a career-high four catches for 76 yards and showed he can be involved in the passing game. Paul, a converted wide receiver, adjusted to a bigger role.
Cooley has the benefit of knowing Shanahan’s offense and more experience than Paulsen and Paul combined. As long as the 30-year-old is in good enough shape to play Sunday at the Pittsburgh Steelers, all three tight ends figure to be active and involved.
“We’ll take a look at our personnel groups and we’ll have the flexibility,” Shanahan said. “Offensively, the easy part is you can adjust your personnel to who’s healthy. We do have that flexibility, and we’re going to do what we feel gives us the best chance to win.”
Davis is set to have surgery Tuesday. Dr. Robert B. Anderson of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., will perform the operation, Shanahan said. Davis is expected to have a five- to six-month recovery time.
Nothing new with Garcon
USA Today reported over the weekend that Garcon’s right foot injury is worse than the Redskins are letting on, saying that he has a torn tendon in the foot in addition to the inflamed capsule under his second toe that Shanahan has talked about.
“I just keep on saying that we’re going to evaluate him. It wasn’t good enough to play, so if it’s not good enough to play, that means there’s a lot of pain in there,” Shanahan said. “I won’t know anything till Wednesday because we’re not pushing him right now. He’s not running any routes, he’s not working out, he’s getting treatment.”
Shanahan said last week that Garcon’s injury was something of a “mystery.” Asked Monday if there was a torn tendon, the Redskins‘ coach responded: “It’s the same thing. Same thing. Same thing as it has been.”
“We’re hoping that by him staying off of it for a week that it’s much improved,” Shanahan said.
Training camp site picked
Richmond mayor Dwight C. Jones announced that the Redskins‘ training camp site beginning in 2013 will be the Leigh Street (Science Museum) location. According to an illustration by the city of Richmond, the camp site will include two practice fields, a drill field, a field house, a fan zone and a kids zone.
“We believe our Richmond training camp experience will become the model for all professional sports teams,” Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said in a statement.
Long snapper Nick Sundberg was evaluated Monday and can begin practicing Wednesday. After breaking his arm Week 1 at New Orleans, the Redskins placed him on injured reserve with the designation to return. He can come back Nov. 18 vs. Philadelphia.
• Shanahan had no update on London Fletcher, reiterating that the middle linebacker had a “slight” right hamstring strain. Wednesday’s practice could provide a better prognosis for Fletcher, who holds the active NFL record for consecutive starts with 231.
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