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Redskins WR Josh Doctson ready for 'big year' in 2019

As the Washington Redskins open mandatory minicamp Tuesday, all eyes will be on the quarterback battle between rookie Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum. However, another player on offense enters a pivotal season: Josh Doctson.

The former first-round receiver missed all but two games of his rookie season due to an Achilles injury. The 26-year-old showed potential in 2017, with the ability to win jump balls down the sideline and snagging six TD passes. As the Redskins dealt with a QB carousel last season, however, Doctson didn't continue his development.

Washington declined the wideout's fifth-year option earlier this offseason, so Doctson enters a vital year ahead of hitting free agency. The wideout isn't miffed at the organization for not picking up the more than $10 million option.

"I won't be the first and I won't be the last that this has happened to," Doctson said recently, via the team's official website. "It's nothing to be sad about, be mad about. Somebody wants you out there so it's all love."

The receiver insisted that the team declining the option won't add any more motivation to his quiver.

"That would mean it would have gotten to me, it would have frustrated me and made me feel some type of way," he said. "There's no motivation into that."

Through three seasons, Doctson has been an inconsistent threat on the outside, struggling with drops and separation, and doesn't always make himself available for the quarterback.

Certainly part of the wideout's disappointing 2018 campaign had to do with the QB situation, and coach Jay Gruden believes Doctson is in for a breakout season this time around.

"I've been impressed with Josh. Really, he's come out. He's come to work every day. He's been in all the meetings. He's running. I think when the ball's in the air he's been making plays left and right. I'm Josh's biggest supporter up here and I'm really, really hopeful that he comes through in a big way this year," Gruden said. "It's a big year for him, we all know contractually, but for this football team for us to have success we need his input. We need his production. I think this is going to be a big year for him. If he has the year that I think he should have, then our offense should really take the next step."

The Redskins' receiver corps is a goulash of questions entering Tuesday's minicamp. Paul Richardson is coming off an injury, slot WR Trey Quinn has never had a full plate, Terry McLaurin is a third-round rookie, Doctson has struggled to live up to the hype, and the rest of the crew is either veterans with inconsistent pasts or young players/rookies with no history.

The battle between Haskins and Keenum will highlight minicamp this week but keep an eye on Doctson. His improvement in 2019 will play a key role in how much success the winner of the QB battle will have this season.

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