4 young Commanders players heading for bigger roles in 2023

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Armani Rogers
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Armani Rogers /
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(Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports) Phidarian Mathis /

Phidarian Mathis – Commanders DT

To say Phidarian Mathis endured some rough luck as a rookie would be a huge understatement. The formidable defensive tackle lasted just three snaps in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars before a serious injury cut his campaign extremely short, but all signs point to the 2022 second-round selection being fit and raring to go heading into the upcoming campaign.

Mathis is a huge body with heavy hands. This makes him incredibly difficult to move off the block on running downs and there is enough explosiveness to impact matters from a pass-rushing capacity for good measure.

The Washington Commanders brought back Daron Payne on a bumper new deal, which was richly deserved after his breakout season. Considering others on the defensive line, Mathis will integrate himself slowly as a primary rotational piece – which is the best possible situation considering his recent complications.

Having someone like Mathis backing up Payne and Jonathan Allen is a luxury. One the Commanders should utilize heavily to keep opposing offensive lines guessing depending on the situation.

Expect Mathis to make up for some lost time in 2023. But keeping expectations low would be the best course of action considering how much football he missed last time around.