Pryor posted the message on his Instagram account Saturday morning, saying he has been inconsistent with “a lot of stress brought onto myself from loss of focus on the field..not personal life but at work reasons. Ready to be the beast I know I am. Looking forward to Sunday.”
Pryor played one snap in the first half of Monday’s loss to Philadelphia, with Josh Doctson playing ahead of him. Pryor ended up playing 30 snaps. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has said for a while that he wanted to get Doctson, their first-round pick in 2016, more playing time. Doctson and Pryor both primarily play the X position so it’s hard to play them together a lot, though they did play several snaps at the same time Monday.
On Tuesday, Gruden said he’d go with the “hot hand” between Doctson and Pryor.
It’s the latest turn in a season that has not gone as Pryor had hoped. He signed a one-year, $6 million deal with Washington in the offseason after finishing with 1,007 receiving yards with Cleveland last season. This year, he has 18 receptions for 223 yards and a touchdown. He has been credited with three drops, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, but also misjudged the opening play of the season in which he was open deep but couldn’t find the ball.
On his post, Pryor said, “I’m use to the rock in my hand early n often. I have great teammates and understand it’s not realistic with the great talent we have. That’s something that’s tough and a ongoing battle in my own mind. And I’m ready to control that focus and get back to pinning my ears back and playing ferocious how I know how! I’m ready.”
There hasn’t been a big difference in his first-quarter production compared to last season. In 2016, Pryor was targeted 25 times in the opening quarter and caught 16 passes with no touchdowns. In six games this season, Pryor has been targeted a team-high 12 times with eight catches and a score. The Redskins would like more consistency in the route running. Their passing game also features more tight ends — Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis — and running back Chris Thompson.
“They have to control what they can control,” Gruden said. “If they’re in there for 10 plays, 30 plays or 60 plays, they have to play their best football and we’ll adjust as a team and try to get the best players out there. That’s always the case at every position. We have faith. It’s not like we’re losing faith in anybody. We have faith in all our receivers to win one-on-one matchups and run the right coverage, run the right routes and all that stuff and make plays when the ball is distributed to them. It’s just a matter of trying to get everybody happy here. It’s hard. They’re all worthy of playing, but they all have to wait their turn and be patient and when their number is called, produce.”