5 position battles to watch at Commanders training camp in 2023

Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett
Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders backup TE

After surprising most fans by not upgrading the position this offseason, Logan Thomas will return as the Washington Commanders' starting tight end in 2023.

A former quarterback that switched positions in the NFL, Thomas has started a total of 19 games over the last two seasons due to injury problems after posting a career year in 2020.

Now fully healthy, the eighth-year veteran has been showing flashes of his old form over summer practices. With new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy calling the plays, Thomas should be in line for a bounce-back year in 2023.

Behind Thomas, the situation is a bit murkier. Former fourth-round pick John Bates and 2022 fifth-rounder Cole Turner are competing for snaps behind the projected No. 1 option.

Bates is a blocking specialist that is solid but unspectacular as a pass catcher, while the exact inverse is true with Turner. Both young tight ends certainly have potential but the most intriguing option may be practice squad prospect Curtis Hodges.

Hodges went undrafted out of Arizona State in 2022, but the Commanders scooped up the former wide receiver for developmental depth and stashed him on the roster even after a thigh injury caused him to miss all of his rookie season.

At 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, Hodges has incredible size for the position and has been working hard to improve on his fundamentals this summer in an effort to see the field consistently for Washington in Year 2.