Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said he doesn’t expect missing running back James Davis to return to the team.
“I think he’s retired from football. That’s my guess,” Shanahan said following Tuesday’s practice, the second straight day Davis was absent from Redskins Park.
Shanahan said he believed Davis was in Atlanta and was prepared to walk away from football. He said the team has not released the third-year back.
“Has anybody seen him? I haven’t seen him yet,” Shanahan.
The team has the authority to fine a player $20,000 for skipping a day of practice, but Shanahan seemed to imply that the Redskins would not pursue the money. “I think maybe he’s made $1,500,” Shanahan said. “Add that up, that’s not good.”
Davis did not have any touches in Friday’s preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a crowded backfield, the team did not have big plans for him.
Davis abruptly left a meeting Sunday night at Redskins Park, according to a report by ESPN 980, because he was unhappy with his playing time. Davis took to Twitter on Tuesday morning and said, “Please do not believe everything you here (sic) people. The story will be released soon. The real truth of the story.”
Having a player disappear from camp rather than simply ask for his release is somewhat rare in today’s NFL, but Shanahan said it wasn’t uncommon when the veteran coach was breaking into the league. Back then, teams might have 130 players or more in camp.
“We’d have a bunch of guys leave in the middle of the night. That used to be the norm,” Shanahan said. “You’d wake up, two guys were gone — where did they go? That was this situation. we didn’t know where he went. Came in here, roommate said his clothes were gone.”
With Davis gone, the Redskins still have six tailbacks on the roster: Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain, Roy Helu, Evan Royster, Shaun Draughn and Keiland Williams, who has also been seeing time at fullback. The Redskins also have two open spots on their 90-man roster.
Team officials said throughout the day that they were unsure of Davis’s whereabouts.
“I don’t know,” Shanahan said following Tuesday morning’s practice. “If you see him, let me know because I was wondering where he was at, too. I don’t know where he was at. Missing in action.”
Davis appeared as a reserve in three games last season for the Redskins, compiling 51 rushing yards on 15 carries and 45 receiving yards on four catches. The Clemson product joined Washington mid-season last year after Cleveland released him. He began on the practice squad but was activated to the 53-man roster as injuries piled up.
Davis was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft by the Browns but appeared in only six games in 1 1/2 seasons there.