3 position battles to watch during Commanders 2023 preseason finale vs. Bengals

Keep an eye on these postion battles during the last official chance to impress.
Kazmeir Allen
Kazmeir Allen / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

Commanders CB depth

Kendall Fuller, Benjamin St-Juste, Emmanuel Forbes, and Quan Martin will be the Washington Commanders' top four cornerbacks in 2023. Traditionally, the team has kept six.

This means - just like with the wide receivers - the battle for the final roster spots will come down to four other players. Danny Johnson, Rachad Wildgoose, Christian Holmes, and Tariq Castro-Fields, to be precise.

Also like the receivers, I don’t see both Johnson and Wildgoose making the final 53. They are smaller players, better suited to playing the slot. Neither is especially good on the perimeter. You can afford to keep one of them, but not two.

Wildgoose is coming off a very poor game against the Baltimore Ravens, so he must bounce back and make plays from the slot. I feel much more comfortable with Johnson in this role, but just as the severity of Terry McLaurin’s injury figures into the receiver calculations, his unfortunate rotator cuff strain – the result of a petulant cheap shot from Mark Andrews – complicates this equation.

I do not assume Johnson will play on Saturday, and he may be out for longer. That leaves the door wide open for Wildgoose. But he has to play well. If he doesn’t, the Commanders may choose to keep two longer bodies who are better suited to playing outside.

Holmes and Castro-Fields have a shot at taking the final spot, but both have to show they can hold up when playing man on the outside. Standing out on special teams won't hurt either.

I expect Wildgoose to play well enough to show he can be a reliable slot corner – at least until Johnson is fully recovered. And I expect Holmes to edge out Castro-Fields, as well as Nick Whiteside, who I am not mentioning here, but who I have liked in the limited amount of time I’ve seen him.

But this is why they play the games.