Washington Commanders 53-man roster projection after Week 1 of preseason
As the Washington Commanders enter the thick of training camp and the preseason, Week 1 against Jacksonville is within striking distance. It is less than four weeks away, in fact. We are in the home stretch en route to regular season football.
In less than two weeks, 32 rosters will be cut down to 53 across the league on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Only a handful of practices and two preseason games stand in the way.
As the day to final cutdowns draws closer, here is my best estimation, one that will certainly age poorly, of what the initial 53-man roster for the Commanders will look like
Washington Commanders 53-man roster projection
QB (3): Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Sam Howell (R)
There is the very minute chance Howell shows he is farther along than most thought, therefore; challenging Heinicke for the backup spot. I don’t see that happening though. All three are likely to be on the final roster.
RB (3): Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Brian Robinson (R)
This one is another fairly easy one to diagnose. While Gibson could lose out on some snaps to Robinson if he continues to put the ball on the turf, his roster spot is safe. Jaret Patterson or Jonathan Williams could challenge for a spot if they show an ability to produce on special teams.
TE (4): Logan Thomas (PUP?), John Bates, Cole Turner (R), Armani Rogers (R)
If Thomas starts out the season on the Physically Unable to Perform List, Curtis Hodges would most likely take his place until Thomas is back healthy. Or, Washington could go with just three tight ends.
However, as it sits, the first three are a given, with the final spot coming down to Rogers or Hodges. Rogers just barely edges out Hodges given his quick development being impressive with his newness to the position, as he is a converted college QB.
WR (6): Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson (R), Curtis Samuel, Cam Sims, Dyami Brown, Dax Milne
Sims and Brown are near locks, in my opinion, to be primary backups to the starting three. Milne edges out free-agent signing Alex Erickson, who was the punt returner for the Panthers in 2021. Milne has shown more juice as a pass-catcher than Erickson, can also return punts and is a draft pick of the current regime.
OL (10): Charles Leno, Andrew Norwell, Chase Roullier, Trai Turner, Wes Schweitzer, Sam Cosmi, Cornelius Lucas, Saahdiq Charles, Keith Ismael, Chris Paul (R)
The only question mark here would be the final three: Charles, Ismael, and Paul. Charles seems fairly entrenched as a key reserve player with tackle flexibility, Ismael is the only center behind Roullier on the roster and Paul has been very impressive at guard. Tyler Larsen will begin the year on PUP.