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
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Nick Whiteside - Commanders CB

This is going to happen whether I suggest it or not. The Washington Commanders could be going up against Dak Prescott, Ceedee Lamb, and Brandon Cooks without four of its top five cornerbacks, including both starters.

Even if some of them can take the field, Nick Whiteside will almost certainly see some time. He played his first defensive snaps after Tariq Castro-Fields and Christian Holmes were injured against the San Francisco 49ers. I didn’t see anything to change my opinion of him.

I thought during the preseason that Whiteside could be a sleeper at cornerback. He has good size and looks comfortable playing the boundary. He made the transition from wide receiver to defensive back while at Saginaw State, and that usually takes time.

I think Whiteside could turn into a serviceable cornerback at the pro level. He doesn’t have elite closing speed, which may prevent him from becoming a solid starting option. But I do think he has the chance to turn into a quality reserve.

Let’s see him run with Lamb on several plays and see if he holds up. It's not like the Commanders have anyone else to depend upon aside from underperforming first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes on the boundary. Low expectations are something else that could work in Whiteside's favor.

If any or all of these players see some serious playing time on Sunday, I guarantee they will not treat this as a meaningless game.