The Washington Commanders’ fan base has been too busy celebrating the potential sale of the team to even think about football, but Sunday’s clash against the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field presents another stage for Terry McLaurin and company to stake their claim as a legitimate playoff contender.
After a wonky start to the year with Carson Wentz running the offense, McLaurin has come to life after Taylor Heinicke stepped in for the injured Wentz.
In Week 7, McLaurin tallied five catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. Not a formidable stat line by any stretch, but at least three of those catches came in crunch time and helped Heinicke and the Commanders put the game on ice.
In Week 8, McLaurin eclipsed 100 yards for just the second time all season and made arguably the catch of the season in the NFL, winning a jump ball over Stephon Gilmore that set the stage for Heinicke’s game-winning touchdown run.
The performance saw McLaurin get the shine he deserves from the general media; the same shine Commanders fans give him every day. On Friday, the flattery continued when Nets superstar and D.C. native Kevin Durant asked McLaurin for a signed jersey before Brooklyn tipped off against the Wizards.
Commanders’ Terry McLaurin gave Kevin Durant a signed jersey before Nets-Wizards.
If this doesn’t cement McLaurin’s status as a Washington superstar, then nothing will. The Wizards came up short against Durant’s Nets, who’ve been the talk of the sports world amid Kyrie Irving’s antisemitism controversy. Irving was suspended five game by the Nets and Nike suspended its endorsement deal with the point guard and canceled his upcoming shoe release.
Durant has talked about just wanting to play ball, and the two-time Finals MVP did just that with McLaurin sitting front row. In a 128-86 rout of his hometown Wizards, Durant notched 28 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists, falling one board shy of a triple double. That’s how you announce your return to Washington.
After the game, Durant had to return the favor and give McLaurin his game-worn jersey. McLaurin even showed KD love on Instagram with a picture of the jersey after the stars went their separate ways.
Durant has taken notice of McLaurin and the Commanders’ unexpected turnaround. If you follow KD on Twitter, you’ll find him tweeting after wins.
While Durant and seemingly every other Washington Football fan awaits word on Dan Snyder’s intentions, McLaurin and the Commanders will look to extend their winning streak to four games against Kirk Cousins and the 6-1 Vikings.
A 28-point, near triple-double in a blowout win is tough to beat, but McLaurin and Heinicke have excellent chemistry. Over to you, Scary Terry.