7 Commanders players who need extended reps in 2023 regular-season finale

It's time to see what these Commanders players can do...

Cole Turner
Cole Turner / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 7

Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DL

Okay, this is the one place where I am suggesting sitting a top-flight player for an unproven replacement. I would not even think of this if it were not for the weird position the team finds itself in concerning Jonathan Allen.

Allen is a team leader and the Washington Commanders' best defensive player during the Ron Rivera years. His comments over the past few weeks expressing his displeasure with the repeated failures are entirely understandable, but still very troubling.

Does he want to be here? Perhaps it is a good time to give him a break and see if 2022 second-round pick Phidarian Mathis can produce at a level befitting that draft position.

Mathis played about a third of the defensive snaps against the San Francisco 49ers and was not especially impressive. It would appear that fellow backup John Ridgeway is ahead of him in the team’s planning. But as long as there is a chance that Allen could be gone next year, the Commanders need to get a better sense of what they have in the former Alabama star.

Maybe you don’t bench Allen - a move that would no doubt have some ripple effects throughout the organization. Maybe you just split the time much more evenly between the starters and the backups.