Chris Cooley agrees to rejoin Redskins after Fred Davis suffers season-ending injury

October 21, 2012

Chris Cooley has agreed to rejoin the Washington Redskins, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday night, hours after the team lost fellow tight end Fred Davis to a season-ending torn left Achilles’ tendon suffered during a loss to the New York Giants.

Cooley is scheduled to undergo a physical Monday and, barring any unexpected last-minute snags, his re-signing will become official after that, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the Redskins had made no official announcement about the pending move.

“It’s going to happen,” the person said.

Cooley declined to comment when reached Sunday night, saying it would be premature but that he will address the issue as soon as possible.

The Redskins released Cooley, their career leader in catches by a tight end, before the season but left open the possibility of re-signing him, particularly if they suffered an injury at the position. Cooley drew interest from other NFL teams as a free agent but wasn’t interested in playing elsewhere for a minimum-salary contract. He said recently that he wanted to return to the Redskins if the team wanted him back.

Davis’s injury created a need for the Redskins. Coach Mike Shanahan confirmed the tear to Davis’s left Achilles’ tendon and said the tight end is not expected to play again this season. The injury leaves the team without its leader in catches and receiving yards.

“I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do this year and I was doing it, yards after catch and making plays and blocking,” Davis said. “If I can’t play for the rest of the season, that’s going to [stink]. I’ve just got to get better and be ready for next year.”

Davis was hurt during the first quarter of the Redskins’ 27-23 defeat at MetLife Stadium. He was helped from the field by members of the team’s medical staff after being injured on a passing play near the Giants’ goal line.

“I think I just got tripped up or something,” Davis said. “It started feeling really sore. . . . It felt like a cramp at first. I’ve never experienced that before. I didn’t know right away. Then when I couldn’t walk for at least five [or] 10 minutes, then I knew it was something serious.”

He had one catch for 13 yards Sunday and finishes the season with 24 catches for 325 yards.

The Redskins also have been playing without wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who was on their inactive list Sunday. He was signed as a free agent in the offseason to be the team’s top wideout but has been plagued by an inflamed capsule near the second toe of his right foot. Garcon has played in only three of the Redskins’ seven games.

The Redskins also have Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen at tight end.

“The guys that stepped up in his spot played extremely well . . . but losing Fred is huge,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “In my opinion, he’s a gamer. He shows up on game day, plays extremely well and not only does he catch the ball and get yards after the catch, but he’s also a great run blocker and just a good guy to have on the field with you. So, in my opinion, it [stinks] for . . . everybody involved in the situation, including Fred, and he’ll be missed.”

It is the second straight year in which Davis’s season has come to a disappointing ending. He was on his way to a huge season last year, with 59 catches for 796 yards in 12 games, when he was suspended for the final four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

The Redskins kept Davis off the free agent market last offseason by using their franchise-player tag on him. That gave Davis a one-year contract worth about $5.5 million. He is to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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