Which players should the Washington Commanders avoid trying to sneak onto the practice squad heading into the 2023 season?
Some important decisions await the Washington Commanders before Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals arrives. Things are about to get hot and heavy during a frantic few weeks of training camp, which will play a leading role in Ron Rivera's thought process before finalizing his 53-man roster.
Of course, there is no margin for error with Josh Harris' ownership group set to assume charge on July 20. Rivera is under enormous pressure to put the necessary improvements in place, but it looks like he'll get a legitimate opportunity to prove his worth based on the recent reports about staffing changes.
While established players at the depth chart's top end have their places assured, those lower down the pecking order are all fighting for jobs. But for many who'll be cut, an instant route back into the league will arrive elsewhere off the waiver wire.
With this in mind, here are four players the Commanders must not risk sneaking onto the practice squad in 2023.
Mason Brooks - Commanders OL
The Washington Commanders identified Mason Brooks as a top priority once the 2023 NFL Draft concluded. Ron Rivera managed to secure his services with a hefty contract and the versatile offensive lineman has left a strong opening impression throughout early offseason workouts to repay this faith.
Brooks' fate is still hanging in the balance in terms of winning a spot on the 53-man roster. He has a lot of the intangibles Rivera loves in his offensive linemen, but increased competition across the board might mean the former Ole Miss star doesn't quite cut the mustard when push comes to shove.
If the Commanders opt to release the player and bring him back onto the practice squad, there's a high chance Brooks gets scooped up from elsewhere considering the level of interest in securing his services during undrafted free agency.