It’s cut day around the NFL today. “Final” decisions have been made and the Washington Commanders are down to 53. Keep in mind that there is still 12 days until the regular season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While this is the “final 53”, there will surely be more modifications made after today. In other words, don’t overreact. Rivera has stated that they aren’t done.
The Final 53
Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Sam Howell
No surprises here.
Running Backs (4)
Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Brian Robinson Jr. Johnathan Williams
As you probably heard over the weekend, rookie Brian Robinson Jr. was shot multiple times in an attempted robbery incident. Thankfully, his injuries were not life threatening. Robinson Jr. posted on his Instagram that he had a successful surgery. Ron Rivera said that Robinson Jr. was in good spirits when he visited him in the hospital. It was reported that Robinson Jr. was released from the hospital on Tuesday and is being evaluated by team doctors. Rivera is optimistic that Robinson Jr. plays this season. As you can see, he is on the 53 and not on any other list. That is probably the case until the team doctors can determine when Robinson will be ready to return. Johnathan Williams also beat out Jaret Patterson for the fourth running back spot. I’m a Jaret Patterson fan and hope to see him on the practice squad.
Wide Receivers (6)
Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Cam Sims, Dax Milne, Dyami Brown
The top 3-4 receivers were never really a question. Cam Sims has shown enough over the past few seasons and this offseason to solidify himself as a given when talking about the receiver position. Dax Milne showed out this offseason putting his hands on display as well as his value on special teams as a returner. Dyami Brown making this team is just an abomination to me. I would’ve liked to have seen Erickson or Michel make it instead.
Tight Ends (5)
Logan Thomas, John Bates, Cole Turner, Armani Rodgers, Curtis Hodges
This position will not stay this way. They’re clearly worried about the health of some of them and felt they needed to keep an extra body until there’s a more clear time table for Thomas, Bates, and Tuner to return.
Offensive Line (9)
Charles Leno Jr., Andrew Norwell, Chase Roullier, Trai Turner, Sam Cosmi, Saadiq Charles, Wes Schweitzer, Cornelius Lucas, Chris Paul
Health is a big question at this position. Most of the projected starters and primary backups have been dealing with injuries at one point or another within the past couple of months. While there seems to be decent depth, I’ve been questioning how effective the starters will be. The projected starting guards in Norwell and Turner are both past their primes and have dealt with injuries. Wentz is notorious for holding onto the ball longer than desired, he again proved so in the preseason. I would hope that they would add another guard after today.
I hate to be that guy, but Erick Flowers is still available, which is insane to me. Flowers played at a very high level and I thought he deserved Pro Bowl consideration. He knows the scheme and his only good years have been here in Washington.
Defensive Line (9)
Johnathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, James Smith-Williams, Phidarian Mathis, Efe Obada, Shaka Toney, Daniel Wise, Casey Toohill
Chase Young is not on the final 53 because he is on the PUP list which does not count towards the 53 man roster. No real surprises here, there wasn’t much competition at tackle or edge. I like the depth we have inside with Mathis and Wise, even Obada could slide inside if needed. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if a veteran edge rusher was added.
Cole Holcomb, Jamin Davis, David Mayo, Milo Eifler, De’Jon Harris
To say that the Commanders are thin at linebacker is one of the biggest understatements I’ve heard in a while. I think Cole Holcomb is primed for a massive season, but behind him there is nothing. Jamin Davis looks better than he did last year, but that’s not really saying much. Then behind those two is David Mayo, who is ok at best. Big yikes. Khaleke Hudson did not make the final roster, which is more of an indictment on him than anything. There’s been a plea from fans (myself included) to add a veteran linebacker this offseason and I expect it to happen within the next 12 days.
William Jackson III, Kendall Fuller, Benjamin St. Juste, Christian Holmes
This position is just as troublesome as the linebacker position. Behind the top three, there’s no one. Danny Johnson and Corn Elder, who were thought to pretty much be locks given lack of depth, have been released. There’s clearly something brewing here.
Bobby McCain, Kam Curl, Percy Butler, Jeremy Reaves, Darrick Forrest
There’s a trend here with the defense, depth is a huge question across the board (other than POTENTIALLY defensive tackle). Percy Butler flashed at times in the preseason but got caught out of position and burned deep more than once against backup quarterbacks. Jeremy Reaves is a fan favorite but has struggled to stick on the active roster during his time in the league. The team signed Steven Parker but he didn’t make the team. Could Landon Collins return to play his pseudo safety/linebacker role? I don’t really know, but this defense could sure use him.
Special Teams (3)
Joey Slye, Tress Way, Cameron Cheeseman.
Nothing of note here. There’s slight concern among some about the two missed kicks from Slye in the preseason, but Rivera is not going to abandon him. Kick returner is supposed to be Antonio Gibson, but after the Robinson Jr. incident, I’m not so sure that Gibson will be kept at that position. Punt returner will more than likely be Dax Milne.
- Chase Young (PUP)
- Tyler Larsen (PUP)
- Josh Drayden (IR)
- Eli Wolfe (IR)
- Keith Ismael (IR)
- Willie Beavers (IR)
- Drew White (IR)
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