Fred, we hardly knew you.
The end of an era is happening right before our eyes, except it is not so crystal clear because this era never actually happened.
Fred Davis, a tight end, for so long carried the teaser as the next big thing for the Redskins. He was destined to be a star and he may well still become one.
It just won’t be here.
If you can’t read PHASE-OUT on the wall in gigantic letters, go visit your eye doctor.
Davis has seen it. He knew it was there ever before he was inactive for Sunday’s victory over the Bears. In a brief conversation last week, Davis made it clear that he was coming to grips with the impending end of his life as a Redskin.
“At the end of the day I still want my team to win, so I have to make a play whenever I get the chance,” Davis said. “At the end of the day, you’re still putting film on for yourself and for other teams to see, too.
“If you’re not being used, as a player, you just have to know this is the way the business is. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m just going to put on the best film I can whenever I get the opportunity. That’s how I stay motivated.”
Davis had plenty of reasons to be motivated coming into the season. This looked like it could be the year, finally, when he played from start to finish and flashed more than just signs of greatness.
His career-high in catches is 59, set in only 12 games in 2011. He didn’t get a chance to extend that personal record because he was suspended for the final four games for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Davis had 24 catches in seven games last season before an Achilles injury ended the year for him.
This year, armed with a one-year contract, Davis had plenty of reasons to make good. A huge deal could be waiting on the other side. He’s only 27. Age isn’t an issue.
“I feel good. I definitely feel like I can play,” Davis said. “The whole preseason, I was out there playing, early in the season when I got opportunities. The NFL, that’s just how it goes.”
The participation chart is telling. Davis played 48 snaps in the season opener. He’s played just 39 snaps total in the ensuing games. He was inactive one week with an ankle injury, something he says isn’t an issue now. After two more games with barely more than cameo appearances, he was inactive against the Bears.