Cut Day: T.J. Clemmings waived by Minnesota Vikings
The massive cut day of the 2017 NFL season was not one that was kind to Clemmings. A year after he was the primary left tackle for the team, a role given to him by an injury to Matt Kalil, and two years after being a fourth round pick, Clemmings found himself on the waiver wire. He was undoubtedly going to get a chance somewhere, at least on a practice squad, but he found himself in a fortunate situation in Washington.
During the cut to 53 men, the Redskins decided to keep only eight linemen on the active roster. They had a supposedly strong starting five, and they rolled with Nsekhe, sixth round pick Chase Roullier, and undrafted free agent Tyler Catalina as their six guys. The only surprise of the group was Catalina, who made the roster over Kyle Kalis, the favored undrafted rookie in the eyes of the fans and media.
Lost in the shuffle with all this was Vinston Painter. Last season, Painter was the Redskins fourth offensive tackle and he served as the swing tackle during Williams’ suspension. He had always been a raw, physical talent and he did a decent job when called upon. But the Redskins had let him go and he ended up on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad. It’s obvious that they didn’t have faith that he could be a good enough swing option in the event of an injury.
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However, just when the Redskins appeared to be set with their 53 man roster, the Su’a Cravens saga unfolded. Cravens was contemplating retirement and the Redskins placed him on the exempt/left squad list to open a roster spot. On waivers, they claimed Clemmings and set him up to take over Painter’s role.
Clemmings immediately stepped in as the fourth tackle which gave him a chance to do a couple of things. The first was to learn the Redskins offense. The second was to improve his game. Bill Callahan is an excellent offensive line coach, and Clemmings had the same type of raw, athletic potential that the team had searched for in other prospects they added at the position. Because of his upside, the Redskins could afford to keep him but gave him time to develop over the course of the first few weeks of the season.
Now, Clemmings is going to be pressed into duty by the injury. This will be a good test for him, and it is something that won’t be too tough for the offense to handle.