The Washington Football Team was lucky to win in Week 4, because the vibe in the locker room would’ve been a lot more morbid considering how many players left with injuries.
We’ll spare you the full list for the sake of time, but the clear highlight of the bunch was Logan Thomas, who suffered a hamstring injury and immediately signaled for assistance from the training staff.
That seemed to be a clear indicator that Thomas would face a multi-week absence, and Washington confirmed fans’ worst fears when they placed him on injured reserve on Wednesday, ruling him out for at least the next three games.
To replace Thomas on the 53-man roster, they quickly signed Jace Sternberger off Seattle’s practice squad. With a new body to compete for snaps, let’s attempt to project the tight end rotation while Thomas heals up.
Projecting the Washington Football Team’s tight end rotation after Logan Thomas lands on IR.
It looks like Ricky Seals-Jones, one of the heroes from Week 2, is poised to carry the load at tight end for the time being. The fifth-year pro played 93% of the offensive snaps vs Atlanta and turned them into two catches four 19 yards on four targets.
Based on that workload, Seals-Jones seems to be in line for the biggest snap share, though it’s worth noting he logged just an 11% snap share before Week 4. There should be plenty of reps to go around, which brings us to our No. 2 candidate.
John Bates will likely assume the backup role. The 2021 fourth-round pick has yet to appear in a game as a rookie, but he flashed some potential during the the preseason. This is just the kind of opening Bates’ needed to make his mark on the offense. Expect the rook to see around 8-12 snaps vs the Saints.
Next up (for Sunday at least) is fan favorite Sammis Reyes, who’s patiently waiting to make his NFL debut. The former Chilean basketball star turned heads at training camp and was awarded a spot on the 53-man roster.
Reyes is likely a longshot to receive any offensive reps/targets in Week 5, but don’t be surprised if he takes Seals-Jones’ snaps on special teams. At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Reyes could create some gaping holes as a downfield blocker. We’re expecting him to receive anywhere between 5-15 special teams snaps.
And finally, we have Sternberger. Given his first practice came on Thursday, it’s hard to envision him playing any sort of role on Sunday. Two practices likely isn’t enough time to grasp the playbook. With that being said, Sternberger has the second-most experience of any TE on the roster behind Seals-Jones.
Depending on how they perform on Sunday, the 2019 third-round pick could leapfrog Bates and Reyes on the depth chart leading into Week 6. Sternberger has struggled with injuries early on in his career (he’s played in just 18 games), but there’s a lot of untapped potential in the 25-year-old.
Barring any last-minute surprises, the rotation for Sunday should be Seals Jones-Bates-Reyes- in that order. After that, though, it gets real interesting once Sternberger gets a better understanding of the playbook.