The Washington Post

Chris Cooley’s knee rehab is progressing smoothly

Tight end Chris Cooley has reported no problems during his rehabilitation from an injury-shortened 2011 season, when he posted career-low numbers, coach Mike Shanahan said.

Chris Cooley on the sidelines after injuring his hand during the second quarter at FedEx field Oct. 16 (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

So far, however, his knee has held up well during the Redskins’ offseason conditioning programs, Shanahan said Sunday.

“At the tight end position, Cooley is looking really good in rehab,” the coach said. “There’s been no setback with him working out, him being able to run his routes, no swelling in the knee area.”

A productive offseason and clean bill of health entering training camp is crucial for Cooley, who last season was overtaken by Fred Davis for the No. 1 tight end spot. The ninth-year veteran carries a salary cap of a little more than $6 million this season.

In addition to Davis, he faces competition from Niles Paul, who has made a smooth transition from wide receiver to tight end, Shanahan said. The coach praised both Cooley and Paul Sunday, saying that both can help the Redskins – who last season ran many multiple-tight end plays -- in a number of ways.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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