4. John Bates
Logan Thomas’ hamstring injury opened up more snaps at the tight end position, leading fans to believe that rookie fourth-rounder John Bates would see an uptick in playing time.
That … has been anything but the case. Over the last five games, Bates has played just 20.4% of the offensive snaps. During that stretch, he managed just two catches for 11 yards, equaling his output for the season.
We know rookie tight ends — let alone mid-round selections — don’t often pop as rookies, but we’d be lying if we haven’t been disappointed by Bates. Thomas’ injury should have opened the door for him to at least flash some potential. Instead, the position’s snaps have been entirely dominated by Ricky Seals-Jones.
That obviously isn’t a knock on Seals-Jones. He’s been everything fans could have imagined and then some in Thomas’ absence. He’ll go down as another diamond in the rough find by the franchise, even if his future lies elsewhere.
The rookie excuse also isn’t that applicable. Pat Freiermuth and Tommy Tremble have shown promise for their respective teams. Even tight ends that were drafted after Bates, like Brevin Jordan, Kylen Granson and Luke Farrell, have come to life as the season has worn on.
We’d like Washington to use the second half to get Bates more involved, but it’s clear he’s still being coached with kid gloves.