Davis in two games has 11 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Cooley on the season has two catches for 21 yards, and on Sunday went without a catch for the first time since Week 9 of his rookie year.
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan declined to say whether Davis has supplanted Cooley — the franchise’s all-time leading tight ended — or if the circumstances were a result of Cooley still being in the process of working his way back into football shape after missing all of the preseason with a balky knee.
“I don’t go into the depth chart, for obvious reasons. In the game yesterday, we had two tight ends start — both Fred and Chris — but we’ve got two excellent football players.”
When asked about Cooley, Shanahan said: “He’s getting in better football shape. It was good for him to play a number of plays just like he did the week before.”
Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have said the Redskins will use more two-tight end sets this season to take advantage of Davis and Cooley’s talents. And Davis and Cooley have excitedly talked about their visions of both of them having big games at the same time.
For now, though, Davis has been the go-to guy. With Davis playing as well as he has — ranking second in the league in receiving yardage among tight ends — Shanahan and his staff could face a difficult decision if Davis remains the go-to tight end once Cooley is healthy, or if Cooley reclaim his role.
But Shanahan said he wasn’t concerned about having to make that call.
“Those are the problems you want,” Shanahan said on Monday. “We will play our best players. If we have four tight ends that are the best players, then we won’t have wide receivers on the field. If we have four receivers that are great players and our tight ends aren’t playing at a certain level, then we’ll play four wide receivers. We’ve got the flexibility on offense to do what we want to do. You can’t do that on defense, so we dictate on offense who’s going to play, how many reps they’re going to get. That’s dictated through practice and how many reps they’re going to get and how much they’re going to play.”