4 Commanders players with big opportunities after roster cuts in 2023

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John Ridgeway - Commanders DT

There wasn't much doubt about John Ridgeway's presence on the 53-man roster. The fan favorite is well-liked within the locker room and the Washington Commanders' coaching staff feel like he has something to offer - although what sort of role the second-year-pro will assume remains a question mark.

An unfortunate turn of events for one player is why Ridgeway's found himself on this particular list. The Commanders revealed that defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis was being placed on short-term injured/reserve, which is a blow considering the player's injury history and how much the defense was counting on him to produce as a core rotational piece.

Mathis was also being utilized in five-man defensive fronts during camp, which only added to the sense of intrigue. This task could now be placed on Ridgeway's shoulders, even if he doesn't have the size and brute strength his injured teammate brings to the table.

Nobody works harder than Ridgeway and if called upon, he will give maximum effort to the cause. Depending on him to accumulate significant reps is risky, but this does like a good opportunity for the former fifth-round selection to stake a claim for long-term involvement.

Hopefully, Mathis will return sooner rather than later. But given how difficult it's been for the Alabama product to remain on the field thanks to numerous health concerns, Ridgeway's role is an important one.