The Redskins eeked out a 7-6 win over the Buffalo Bills last Thursday, but more importantly, they remained relatively healthy. The offensive line sustained a few minor injuries, most important being a bruise on starting left tackle Trent Williams’ foot. Williams said he’ll be fine and X-rays were nevegative. Robert Griffin III had a down and up evening. His first “completion” was waived off and he fumbled and exchange with running back Evan Royster. What most will remember is his touchdown toss to receiver Pierre Garcon. Griffin and Garcon put up the only points of the night for Washington as the offense sputtered under Grossman and Cousins. There were a few other highs and lows, most of which involve the newest members of the “last four in, first four out.” This list reflects those that are going to make or miss the roster as of week one of the preseason.
Last four in:
1. Alfred Morris – RB
Morris is competing for what is likely the final running back slot on the roster. Time will tell whether head coach Mike Shanahan goes with three or four running backs. If Shanahan decides to go deep at RB, that will likely mean one less roster spot at receiver.
2. Willie Smith – RT
Smith is 6’6″, 310 lbs., young, and still very raw. He’s going to take some time to develop, but he played well enough against the Bills to warrant a roster spot. The Redskins’ depth at tackle is likely to dwindle even further as the season continues. They’ll need players with experience in their offense. Smith is one of the last four in, this week.
3. Markus White – OLB
White has heart. Everybody talks about how he’s able to do well, but he hasn’t had his shot. He was a seventh round pick in the 2011 draft and I believe that so long as he maintains the status quo, he’s likely to make the roster.
4. Reed Doughty – S
Doughty played solid against Buffalo. I had him as one of the first four out, last week, this week he is the last one in.
First four out:
1. Brandon Banks
Wow. Brandon Banks played himself out of a roster spot for the entire duration of the contest in Buffalo. Banks had two receptions for seven yards. He was targeted several times and proceeded to fall down or drop the ball on most occasions. Banks is looking to hold down the sixth or seventh receiver spot while maintaining his status as a return man. Mike and Danny will likely consider the whole body of work before making their decision, that could hurt or help Banks.
2. Brandyn Thompson – CB
Richard Crawford is bigger, taller, and apparently faster than Thompson. The fight for the final CB spots will likely come down to nickel and dime package capability. Crawford seems like a better fit and he ould have been one of the last four in, had Doughty not been so tempting.
3. Beau Reliford – TE
Reliford will be a tough, yet necessary decision for the Redskins to make. Many have talked about his abilities, but with Davis, Cooley, and now Paul, ahead of him on the depth chart, it’s likely he will not be given a spot. Reliford should be picked up relatively quickly by another team.
4. Jordan Bernstine - S
With Reed making strides staying afloat, that means Bernstine is the odd man out. Can’t rule out Tanard Jackson so Bernstine becomes a victim of circumstance. He’ll have a chance to make an impact against Chicago.
The Redskins will head up to Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday. Banks will likely be given a second chance to shine, among others. We will have full analysis and an updated “last four, first four” shortly after.