Fred Davis last Sunday was a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie season. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) Fred Davis last Sunday was a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie season. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that he has had talks with demoted tight end Fred Davis and explained to him why he would be inactive last week and what he needed to do to work his way back onto the field. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said that he hasn’t written the sixth-year veteran off for the year.

Davis last Sunday was a healthy scratch for a game for the first time since his rookie season. He opened the season as the starter but has since fallen out of favor with the coaches after inconsistencies both in games and practice and after displaying a lack of attentiveness in meetings. People with knowledge of the situation said earlier this week that the Redskins have been “trying” to trade Davis, but it remains to be seen if they get a deal done by Tuesday’s league deadline.

The other three tight ends on the roster, Logan Paulsen, Jordan Reed and Niles Paul, all played on Sunday, and Reed recorded nine catches for 134 yards (a franchise record for yards by a rookie tight end) and a touchdown.

Davis, on Tuesday during his weekly appearance with 106.7 The Fan’s LaVar & Dukes show said that he hadn’t spoken with Shanahan about the situation in “probably about three or four weeks.”

But Shanahan said that isn’t the case.

“I’ve talked with Fred the last couple weeks,” Shanahan said, “[I] sat down with him, especially when he was inactive and talked with him about what it takes to play in this league: responsibilities, accountabilities, and why people do play and why they don’t.”

Asked for the specifics of the talk, Shanahan said, “I’m not going to go through it. I’m just saying I sat down with Fred and told him why he wasn’t dressing and if he wanted to dress what he has to do.”

Shanahan didn’t deny that the Redskins had explored trade possibilities regarding Davis.

He did say that the Redskins must weigh whether or not it was better to hold onto Davis in case he could help them in case of an injury, or if it was better to trade him to get a draft pick for the future.

“That’s what people do when you make a decision if you think you need a draft choice, or if you think that person can help you later in the year, especially with an injury,” Shanahan said. “The thing I think that Fred has done, is he had an excellent week of practice. Any time people compete, you feel good about who they are and what they do.”

Kyle Shanahan said that he still likes Davis as a player, but that better play of others and necessity prompted the staff to go with the other three tight ends while deactivating Davis.

“It was mainly that other guys have stepped up,” the offensive coordinator said. “We’re not all trying to write Fred off, or saying he’s going to be done for us for the year. I really expect there to come a time when Fred needs to help us. But it is a week-to-week decision going into that game. We always decide based on personnel, coverages, what packages we need to use, what tight ends we want in certain situations. We felt better with Logan and Jordan with a lot of stuff we were doing, Niles is a really good special teams player for us, who can also help us on offense. If it was my choice, I would dress four tight ends every week, but it’s not just about the offense. You’ve got special teams, you’ve got defense. It’s a whole team, and it’s tough to get four tight ends up. When we’re told we can only get three, it’s really on who we depend on for what we need to and who we can do better with.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

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