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Ron Rivera Not Afraid to Play Rookies - Which Players Will See Significant Time in 2020?

NFL: The Washington Football Team-Training Camp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In an August 4th ZOOM interview, Washington coach Ron Rivera tackled quit a few subjects. One of the more interesting ones was the team’s rookies, and how they were preparing for the season.

What we know from his past, is that Rivera is not afraid to play his rookies. On this team, where youth is bountiful, we may see even more first year players contribute then was originally anticipated.

So this begs the question - which rookies will see significant playing time this season, and who may be in store for a “redshirt” year?

Chase Young: Even though he’s been battling a hip-flexor injury during the past week, I 100 percent expect Chase Young to start, and out-snap veteran Ryan Kerrigan at defensive end once the season begins. Chase is just too good to keep off the football field, and that’s been very evident when he’s been in live action this training camp.

Antonio Gibson: Gibson can line up in the backfield or split out wide. He can even return kicks. Wherever he’s played, he can be a mismatch threat to opposing defenses.

I don’t see Gibson taking over RB1 from Adrian Peterson, but he ultimately may end up getting the most touches out of all the running backs - specifically due to his superb receiving skills. He has potential to become an every-down running back in the NFL in the very near future.

Saahdiq Charles: Before training camp started, I would have guessed that outside of Chase Young, Charles had the best shot of starting as a rookie along the offensive line. A calf injury however has sidelined him through the first few weeks of camp, and likely has put him significantly behind his o-line teammates. Aside from that, is the surprise emergence of third year pro left tackle Geron Christian.

Charles has a very high ceiling, but until he gets on the field, and shows what he can do in live action, the expectations are just that...expectations. He does however have some very impressive calves.

Antonio Gandy-Golden: AGG, as he’s referred to by many fans, has been quiet so far this training camp. He does however have an open door to win the outside receiver spot opposite Terry McLaurin. At 6’4” 223 pounds, Gandy-Golden has the size and athleticism teams covet at the wide receiver position. When the team reported to camp, and before the pads came on, it was reported that AGG was much faster than his combine time of 4.60 in the 40, with teammates and coaches saying he was running almost side-by-side with the 4.4 guys.

He does have some work cut out for him, as he’s a small school prospect playing one of the hardest positions to transition to in the NFL, and his recent injury setback(although minor), can certainly hurt. What can help AGG is versatility(being able to line up at all three WR positions) and blocking ability(something the staff has already spoken highly about with him.

...and then there is this video below.

Keith Ismael: Ismael is another rookie who to this point has had a very quiet training camp - and sometimes for an offensive lineman, that’s not a bad thing. Ismael has an uphill battle for playing time on the interior, likely being a second-team option at center and guard at the moment.

The former San Diego State center does have some unique movement skills that could be a great asset in a zone blocking scheme. He’ll need to develop a bit more power at the point of attack, and a year in an NFL strength and nutrition program could benefit him greatly.


Khaleke Hudson LB Michigan

Kamren Curl S Arkansas

James Smith-Williams EDGE NC State

Isaiah Wright WR Temple


Besides Chase Young, which rookie will get the most playing time in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Antonio Gibson
    (2337 votes)
  • 1%
    Saahdiq Charles
    (51 votes)
  • 8%
    Antonio Gandy-Golden
    (221 votes)
  • 0%
    Keith Ismael
    (23 votes)
  • 1%
    (35 votes)
2667 votes total Vote Now