OUT OF THE SMOKE: Chris Cooley was on a couch watching football yesterday, but he may be starting for the Redskins the next time they take the field. Photo courtesy Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Watching the game yesterday afternoon between the Giants and the Redskins, a seemingly anticlimactic injury occurred just before the end of the first quarter. During a play in the end zone, Washington tight end Fred Davis came up limping.

The key point at the time was that he DID get up. There wasn’t any major wincing in pain or unusual activity from the training staff. Something was wrong, to be sure, but guys are always limping off the field. It’s just a part of football.

However, when it came out that Davis had suffered an Achilles’ injury, it definitely allowed people’s minds wander. There’s a reason we use the word “Achilles” to describe the critical component of something. For instance, in the first half of the season, Fred Davis was the ACHILLES of the Redskins receiving corps.

So, when Fred Davis injured his ‘Fred Davis’, you knew it was serious. And now, of course, we know Davis is done for the rest of the season.

I’ll have some thoughts on Davis’ injury a little later, but going back to that initial moment when the FOX broadcast crew got wind that it was an Achilles injury, was it just me or did it take about, oh, say, three seconds for Chris Cooley to pop into your head?

Redskins fans want him back and HE wants to be back. But after he got cut in the preseason, it was clear that any return was going to have to come as a result of an unforeseen opportunity. After all, you don’t cut players you plan on having with you to start the season, duh.

But this, this injury right here, is Cooley’s in. This is where CC47 makes his return. It feels right. Scratch that, it IS right.

Think about it: Chris Cooley was a star in Washington before he was sidelined with injury. In that time, Fred Davis began to shine at tight end and Cooley transitioned into a number-two role. Now, it’s time for the veteran to have the opportunistic luck on HIS side.

Reports late last night surfaced that Cooley will undergo a physical tomorrow and likely sign with his former team shortly thereafter. The man himself wouldn’t comment on the matter, but a source told The Washington Post in no uncertain terms, “it’s going to happen.”

But do Redskins fans need to temper their expectations? I don’t see why. Some say Cooley will be shoved into a lesser role, but what exactly is that based on? Without Fred Davis, Washington’s tight end corps consists of a converted wide receiver (Niles Paul) and a slightly-groomed sasquatch of a blocker (Logan Paulsen). Are you telling me WITH a straight face that the 30-year-old all-time franchise leader at the position can’t top that? I don’t think so.

More than likely, Cooley will be active when the team takes the field against Pittsburgh on Sunday. If he is, he should be starting. Logan Paulsen, despite his 76 yards receiving yesterday, just isn’t a starting-caliber tight end and the Niles Paul experiment, no matter how well-intentioned, hasn’t worked out. If Cooley can shake off the rust quickly, he should be a contributor six days from now.

Some fans will still be bitter that the team released the veteran leader in the first place, but this resigning gives Cooley the perfect opportunity to do what he does best: pick up his team when they need him most. It’s been a shaky start to the season and several key stars in the nation’s capital have already hit the IR list. But now, like Keanu Reeves in ‘The Replacements’, Cooley comes barreling through the doors at the perfect time.

And we, like Gene Hackman, are left slyly retorting, “What took you so long?”

But what of Fred Davis? You can’t help but to see the irony in the fact that Davis went down with a torn Achilles the same week Baltimore star linebacker Terrell Suggs came back from one.

Well, despite his rapid ascension to stardom amongst the burgundy and gold, his tenure with the team is legitimately in question. Before this season, the Redskins and Davis couldn’t come to terms on a new deal, so the team placed the franchise tag on him. But this injury combined with his marijuana suspension last year means Davis will have only played in 7 of his last 20 regular season games when he becomes a free agent in the offseason. That’s not the kind of reliability that is going to have front offices lining up to sign the man.

Signability, however, shouldn’t keep Davis from losing sleep at night. As his new/old teammate Chris Cooley now knows, a team can always come calling when you least expect it.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch for NFL updates and other shenanigans!

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