Commanders HC Ron Rivera on depth importance
The Washington Commanders are currently dealing with some complications on the defensive line. We'll get to the main problem shortly, but Phidarian Mathis and Efe Obada both going to short-term injured/reserve will test the team's depth considerably until they are ready to return.
Being without Mathis is nothing new given he lasted just a few snaps of his rookie campaign in 2022. Obada's dependability on the rotation will be missed, but head coach Ron Rivera seemed happy enough with the depth options and their ability to step up based on his comments via the team's website.
"We're going to rely a little bit on the young guys to help round out the rest of that group. We like the backups. We think James Smith-Williams and Casey [Toohill] are very capable guys. A year ago, when those guys were playing a lot, they contributed to where we ended up as a defense. We feel good about what we've done and just knowing that we have a chance to get, eventually at some point, getting both Efe and Phidarian out there. I'm pretty comfortable with that."- Ron Rivera via Commanders.com
It's also worth remembering that the Commanders also have two rookies looking for reps. Andre Jones Jr. shone during the summer and although K.J. Henry was less impressive, the former Clemson standout has the physical tools normally associated with productive edge weapons at the next level.
Obada and Mathis will be missed. But not as much as this guy…