De-activation of Davis based on special teams considerations, Shanahan says

Kirk Cousins, Fred Davis

Fred Davis (without helmet) didn’t play much more than Kirk Cousins last week against Dallas, and was inactive this week. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins had tight end Fred Davis on their inactive list Sunday. The move was made, according to Coach Mike Shanahan, to try to boost the special teams.

“We put another guy up for special teams that we thought would give us the best chance to win,” Shanahan said. “It’s always tough to deactivate somebody, especially when you know they’re good football players. But since Fred doesn’t help us a lot on special teams, we felt we’d go with another special teams player. A guy like [Trenton] Robinson came in and really did a good job for us today.”

Two of the players signed by the Redskins during the week, Robinson and Josh Hull, were active and played extensively on special teams. Players said they thought the special teams played better even after yielding a touchdown to Chicago Bears return ace Devin Hester on an 81-yard punt return.

“I’m proud of my guys,” said Niles Paul, a key special teams player for the Redskins. “We gave up one big play, which could have been crucial to our success in this game. But we went out there and we were hunting. You saw the special teams coverage unit that we had the last couple years. You’ve got everybody, 11 guys, getting to the ball, making plays, getting tackles, everybody getting in on the tackles.”

The Bears also recovered an onside kick but had that nullified by an offside penalty.

“We worked all week kicking the ball out of bounds or kicking it high because [Hester is] gonna make some plays,” Shanahan said. “It shows you what type of ability a guy like that has because we worked very hard and our coverage was pretty good except for that play. If you kick the ball too many times to him, he’s gonna break some off. We work on that all the time, relative to that onside kick. They did a good job executing. It hit off one of our guys’ shoulder pads and they got it [but] luckily they were offsides. That’s something we work on and those things do happen. But I thought our special teams played extremely hard. I thought we executed our game plan well except for that one punt return.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

● Brian Orakpo discusses the feeling during his interception return touchdown.

More on the Redskins:

Meriweather says he’s changed his hitting style; Still, he faces fines

Redskins break through with late drive, 45-41 win over Bears

Box score | D.C. Sports Bog: Best and Worst

Photo gallery: Images from FedEx Field on Sunday

Robinson, Griffin connected on off-schedule play

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