The elation of having originally made the Redskins’ initial 53-man roster was spoiled no less than a day later when Akeem Davis, undrafted last year out of Memphis, was waived by the team.
Washington had claimed strong safety Duke Ihenacho off waivers, and as the least-tenured player at the position, Davis was the one to go. In turn, the team made him a promise: If he happened to clear waivers, it would bring him back to its practice squad, then re-sign him to the active roster at the first available opportunity.
The last half of that arrangement was made on Tuesday, when the Redskins placed nose tackle Barry Cofield on injured reserve with the “designated to return” label and signed Davis off its practice squad.
“That was weird, man,” Davis said. “It was a rollercoaster — ups and downs all within 24 hours, but you can’t control those decisions.”
Davis spent all of last season as a graduate assistant at his alma mater and was signed by the Redskins following an NFL regional combine in Atlanta in April. He was praised by his teammates for his defensive knowledge and his ability on special teams, where he would be most likely to contribute as soon as Sunday when the Redskins host Jacksonville.
“We’ll look at the spots that exemplify his assets,” said special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica. “In the preseason, he did a nice job in the coverage aspects of the game and he makes it difficult for them to block, so I’m excited for him. I’m happy for him. We’ll see how he’s earned it and we’ll see how it shakes out on Sunday.”
Despite the back-and-forth of the past 10 days, Davis has remained upbeat. He understands that his role is to help make his teammates better, and he hopes that by doing so and by showing improvement, he’ll be able to carve out a role for himself on game day as well.
“I’m a Washington Redskin whether I’m on the practice squad or on the active roster,” Davis said. “[When] they called me in and said, ‘Hey, man, we’re going to put you on the practice squad,’ you know, great. It could have been, ‘Hey, man, here’s your ticket, one-way. Good luck. We appreciate everything you did.’ Just being able to stick around, man, and get better at something is what I’m thankful for.”