If you haven’t already heard, Redskins roster hopeful James Davis was a no-show at practice today, and his whereabouts are unknown. Davis fought his way on to the Redskins active roster in 2010, and was going to have to do the same again in 2011. Perhaps Davis thought he was fighting a losing battle with two rookie running backs, Roy Helu and Evan Royster, as well as recently imported Tim Hightower all coming in to vie for time in the backfield.
He allegedly had a run-in with one of the coaching staff over the weekend, about the fact that he didn’t see any game time action against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He did not show up for practice today, and his absence was said to be unexcused. Mike Shanahan said, “If you see him, let me know because I’m wondering where he was at, too.”
It’s never good for your career, when your coach has to make jokes to fend off embarrassment. For a guy at the wrong end of a depth chart, and with an uphill climb to make this team anyway, it would seem like this will likely be the end of that climb. It doesn’t make his decision any less surprising though – he has to know that he will struggle to EVER get an opportunity elsewhere.
With all due respect to the Redskins running back corps – they aren’t the 4 or 5 greatest backs in history, that are keeping Davis off an NFL roster. With two rookies, a transfer, and an injured first stringer, it’s actually a good situation for a fringe player to be in – if they’re hungry for it.
Obviously Davis isn’t hungry for it. At least let’s hope that’s what it is. Heaven forbid if the fight with the coaches was a coincidence, and some tragedy had befallen him. But if this absence is just a highly emotional reaction at a most inopportune time, then the only thing left for Davis at Redskins Park will be a pink slip.
Like outside the NFL in every walk of life, if you blow a good opportunity, you may struggle to find another.