Redskins work out four players including tight end A.J. Derby
The Washington Redskins worked out four players on Tuesday including veteran tight end A.J. Derby.
Every Tuesday during the NFL season, teams tend to bring in players for workouts. These workouts can be to look for injury replacements, but often, they’re more about doing due diligence in case issues should arise at any position. Thus, it’s important not to read into them too much as they are likely just back-end roster depth exchanges at the most.
That said, the Washington Redskins did bring in a workout group on Tuesday that had some intriguing names in it, including a tight end who could help shore up depth on their roster.
According to ESPN’s John Keim, the Redskins worked out the following players on Tuesday.
Of the group, the most notable player is A.J. Derby. The former sixth-round pick out of Arkansas started his career as a member of the New England Patriots and has been with the Patriots, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, and New Orleans Saints to start his career. Derby has 40 career catches for 452 yards and three touchdowns and has the receiving skills necessary to make an impact as a depth player.
The Redskins are a bit shorthanded at the tight end position. While they are likely hoping that Jordan Reed will return soon, they only dressed two tight ends last week in Vernon Davis and Jeremy Sprinkle. They lost J.P. Holtz to the Chicago Bears on waivers, so they didn’t have a logical fourth tight end candidate to join the team. While the ‘Skins did sign Donald Parham to the practice squad, the 6-foot-8 player is a developmental project, so calling him up to serve as tight end depth this early in his career would be a risk.
With that said, if Reed misses another week, adding Derby could be a sensible move for Washington. He would be a good temporary third option and would replace much of what Holtz could offer. A signing doesn’t seem imminent, but perhaps Derby is on the team’s shortlist if Reed can’t go.
As for the other players brought in, Wilton Speight is an undrafted quarterback out of Michigan while Tanner Lee was a sixth-round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2018 NFL Draft. Those two would likely be practice squad quarterback candidates if the Redskins wanted to add a player there. But more likely, they were brought in to throw to Derby and Pharoah McKever, a 6-foot-6 tight end who went undrafted out of Florida International in 2018. It’s unclear why the Redskins may be working him out as a receiver.
Overall, these workouts are likely just to survey the depth out there at tight end, a position the Redskins are thin at. We’ll see if anything comes of this but if it does, it could be later in the week once more is known about Reed’s status.