5 Washington players whose stock is soaring after Week 11
By Jerry Trotta
4. John Bates
Just a few weeks ago, John Bates earned a spot in our “5 players who’ve offered almost nothing in 2021” article.
It was a disappointing first half for the rookie fourth-round pick, who played just 9.5% of the offensive snaps over the first eight games, including a grand total of four over the first three games.
In the last two weeks, though, Bates has been forced into an increased role with Logan Thomas still on IR and Ricky Seals-Jones on the shelf with a hip injury.
You’d think a first-year tight end with almost zero experience under his belt would start out rusty, but he’s been dominant as a blocker and composed as a receiver.
After notching three catches for 25 yards and an 80.9 blocking grade in Week 10, Bates posted three catches for 23 yards and an 86.1 run-blocking grade on Sunday. One of those grabs came on an enormous 4th and 3 in the fourth quarter after Taylor Heinicke scrambled nearly 30 yards and bought Bates time to find a crease in the secondary.
We’re not sure what Bates’ role will look like when Thomas and Seals-Jones return, but these last two games prove he’ll step into a significant one in 2022 when Washington presumably moves off Seals-Jones in the offseason.