Chris Cooley is a fun guy. He married a cheerleader and divorced a cheerleader, while also marrying a team and then divorcing a team, a career move that wasn’t his choice, but was instead made by Redskins management with little room left for an aging tight end who has chronic knee problems on their roster behind Fred Davis.

Also, a locker room can only hold so many steins.

But now after he was a roster cut down day casualty due to both the lack of room on the Redskins’ tight end depth chart, and mostly the lack of healthy structure in his knees, Cooley will be employed again in Washington later today once he passes a physical. The move isn’t motivated by a sudden realization that a 30-year-old tight end has experienced some kind of off-field renaissance. No, it’s motivated by desperation, and the loss of Davis for the season.

When Davis suffered a non-contact injury yesterday and went down in the back of the end zone, suddenly depth was needed in Washington at a critical position, especially with a mobile rookie quarterback at the helm of the offense who leans heavily on his safety valve at times. So predictably it took a matter of hours for Cooley’s phone to ring, as a tight end who’s familiar with Mike Shanahan’s system was an easy decision during the brief search to fill the void left by Davis.

While Cooley will provide an infusion of experience after his knee injury was given an extra six weeks to heal, he’ll most likely be a secondary option, and receive only limited targets and playing time even once his thin layer of rust has worn off in a week or so. That’s because while Davis’ injury is devastating, loss always provides opportunity in the NFL, and it makes far more sense to give that opportunity to a younger, potentially blossoming player than a creaky free agent who will likely be signed to the veteran minimum.

Right now, that young players’ name is Logan Paulsen, the 25-year-old TE who led the ‘Skins in receiving yards yesterday with 76 on four receptions after Davis went down. He’s the guy to add, but that’s still a move with a stink of desperation across all fantasy formats. Deep league Davis owners may be forced to make a waiver claim on Paulsen this week, but do it knowing that your return could be extremely limited, with yesterday’s production an outlier. When Davis went down in Week 13 last year first with an injury and then later a suspension, Paulsen only had four catches for 43 yards.

Unfortunately, your hand could be further forced by the date on the calendar, and the lack of any other appealing option at the position on the waiver wire. Anthony Fasano is receiving passes from a quickly-rising rookie quarterback in Miami, and he’s pretty much universally unowned (1.8 ownership in ESPN leagues). Jacob Tamme’s ownership has dropped a bit recently, likely due to the emergence of Joel Dreessen in Denver, and he’s available in 33 percent of ESPN leagues. So yeah, we’re saying there’s a chance.

But that’s pretty much what you’re likely looking at now: a sparsely-targeted backup, a plodding pure possession option in Miami, and a TE in Denver who’s on the high end of a time share.

Godspeed, Davis owners.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • The Panthers fired Marty Hurney. Say, maybe giving DeAngelo Williams $21 million guaranteed wasn’t such a great idea, Marty. [Pat Yasinkas]
  • Justin Tuck thinks Robert Griffin III is really, really good. [Washington Post]
  • Oh sweet, now Felix Jones is hurt too (*curls up in fetal positions, cries*). [ESPN Dallas]
  • And we’ll surely have at least 17 more injury-related posts today as the usual Sunday carnage trickles out. But for now, click the blue words to the right, and be led to a roundup that leads with Maurice Jones-Drew depression. [Rotoworld]

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