4 Commanders who will be playing for their future jobs in Week 18

Things could go either way for these Commanders players...

Phidarian Mathis
Phidarian Mathis / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DT

To say Phidarian Mathis has had a luckless start to his Washington Commanders' career would be a huge understatement. The mammoth defensive lineman lasted a few short snaps as a rookie before going to season-ending injured reserve. He looked back to his old self during the summer, but another devastating blow on the health front put pay to his hopes of making an immediate impact.

Mathis has featured in just nine games this season. He's been on the field for 27 percent of Washington's defensive snaps during that span. When the former second-round selection is in the lineup, the contribution is minimal.

It's not fair to judge defensive players until their third season. Looking at how things have unfolded over the first two years, Mathis needs to make his reps count and produce the goods versus a stout Dallas Cowboys offensive line in Week 18.

Mathis could get prominent involvement if Jonathan Allen sits out. The veteran has missed the first two days of practice this week. Considering his unhappiness and the fact Washington is playing for very little, all signs point to an early end to his campaign.

Again, a new coaching regime gives everyone a clean slate. While that will be a positive for some, there will also be no emotional attachment to draft picks who've failed to meet expectations. That puts Mathis firmly on the chopping block until proven otherwise.