5 players the Commanders can't afford to lose to injury in 2024

Losing these players to injury would be disastrous.
Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Jayden Daniels - Commanders QB

There was a little bit of good luck for the Washington Commanders during another woeful campaign in 2023. Eight consecutive defeats to close the season left them with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. After years of wayward gambles at the quarterback position, this was a chance to finally get a long-term option in place.

Adam Peters was never tempted to trade down from the spot, especially after he began delving into Jayden Daniels' potential. While nobody knew for sure what the Commanders had planned, the general manager revealed that the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU was always the preferred option. He did nothing to alter their perceptions during a thorough assessment process.

The expectations surrounding Daniels are enormous. He's got everything one looks for in a franchise-altering presence under center. His smooth integration and tireless work ethic got the instant respect of teammates young and old. There is a long way to go before he takes the field in Week 1, but there's a growing sense within the building that the Commanders have something special on their hands.

Daniels is the cornerstone piece with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Superstardom beckons for the signal-caller if everything clicks and the supporting cast meets expectations. This could lead the Commanders back to respectability and perhaps even see the organization contend for a wildcard berth in 2024.

That's a bold prediction based on how things went last season and the wholesale changes made to the playing personnel. However, that's how much hope Daniels has provided in a short space of time.

The Commanders haven't enjoyed the best fortune at football's most important position. If they lost Daniels to injury at any stage of his rookie journey, the implications would be severe.

Marcus Mariota could hold down the fort, but he's nothing more than a dependable backup at this stage of his career. Ambitions are much higher for Daniels, so keeping him fit and firing on all cylinders is crucial.