Washington placed 8 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list over the last 3 days. That includes 2 starters on the offensive line(Sam Cosmi, Ereck Flowers), their starting RB Antonio Gibson, MVP Tress Way, and CB Darryl Roberts. The team has also ruled out CB William Jackson III for the 2nd week in a row with a calf injury. Kendall Fuller also missed practice today, but didn't have an injury designation. If Fuller misses Sunday's game, Washington will have to rely on guys like Troy Apke, Corn Elder, and DJ Hayden.
Three more players are listed as questionable for Sunday's home game against the Eagles. Montez Sweat's brother was murdered this week, so he has understandably been absent from practice. Ron Rivera said he is doing well, but there hasn't been any word on if he will play on Sunday. James Smith-Williams has been listed as limited with an illness all week. And finally Curtis Samuel has been limited with a hamstring injury all week. He has missed the last two weeks after a brief, but limited return to the field.
Kendall Fuller missed practice Friday, but not listed with a designation. Rivera acknowledged depth at corner is extremely thin. DJ Hayden or Corn Elder could be in line to play across from Fuller. https://t.co/8Yul6cHs1A— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 31, 2021
“It does. You kind of worry about it. It’s just what’s happening right now. We’re not the only team that it is happening to. There’s a few others that are going through this right now and it seems to be inevitable for everybody too. It just drags on.”
“Well, not everybody has those symptoms. But the guys that do, I know the trainers work a little bit extra on them. I know we as coaches pay attention to that and then some don’t have any symptoms or have any lingering symptoms. So those guys, you check in on them real quick and, ‘Hey, I’m fine coach. We’re good to go.’ And then they go out and show you. So, even though it’s more contagious and they say that it’s not as strong a variant as the Delta, guys still have symptoms and guys still have some reactions to it. It affects everybody differently.”
“I think the biggest thing as far as Jaret is concerned is just how hard he’s been working. He’s a young guy that’s really in tune as to what we do. He does the extra things. Same thing with Jonathan. Jonathan is spending extra time taking as many opportunities as he can to get as much reps in practice. Same thing with Wendell. I mean, all three guys are gonna have to step up and take advantage of this opportunity to play and show us what they can do.”
Asked about CB depth with Jackson out, Roberts on Covid list: "I’m hoping we can keep everybody healthy through this weekend and get those guys back next week. It is precarious. We just continue to go through this and it’s just one of those things that’s lingering right now.”— John Keim (@john_keim) December 31, 2021
“Well, it’s very thin right now. We’re a little concerned obviously, just hoping that we can keep everybody healthy through this weekend, and we’ll get those guys back next week and we’ll go from there. But, it is a little precarious. I mean, that’s kind of what’s happening is we just continue to go through this and it’s just one of those things that’s lingering right now.”
“You see a lot of the savvy vet come into play. The way he goes through his progressions as a corner and the techniques he uses, you can see that he’s a veteran guy that knows how to play certain things.”
Sam Mills at the podium. Said the biggest growth he’s seen in his group is in their preparation. It’s been tough without having the starting four intact, but players like Shaka Toney have progressed this year— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWFT) December 31, 2021
“Yeah, the biggest growth is in the preparation. You can see those guys asking questions, trying to learn, you know, what the opposing offense is gonna do, and then working together, understanding where each other’s gonna be, doing different fronts that we we’ve even put in this season. Just it’s different, not having the, the big four that we usually have. So, when you put different guys in different situations, you know, when you put DE Shaka Toney in, or when you put Nate [Orchard] or when you put B [Bradley-King] and you know, different things that they can do. Bunmi and Casey and James Smith-Williams. We’ve been pretty consistent with our tackles inside except for the one really big COVID week. Just kind of setting those guys up for success and kind of exploiting what they can do.”
“I think in any season, I think consistency is what everybody’s looking for in every position group. And I think the things that prevent you from it is, hey, it can be one guy just giving up a gap. It could be one guy giving up a rush, you know, and when you add those things up, that’s what makes it inconsistent. The thing is, you keep reteaching, you don’t make stuff up, you can keep reteaching and eventually they come together and it sticks and it means a lot. And it’s important to ‘em and it means a lot to this group and they’re still working on it.”
Jonathan Allen/Daron Payne fight:
DL coach Sam Mills on the Payne/Allen fight: "2 competitors.. heat of the moment. Things happened; you move forward so that's what we did."— John Keim (@john_keim) December 31, 2021
Mills on Payne's father making comments on social media, "I'm not aware of what family members said. I deal with the guys that are here."
“Yeah. You know, due to circumstances of injury or COVID or what we’ve had to get used to just kind of rotating guys. The good thing about it is there’s a lot of guys familiar with our system that have been here the last two years. So we kind of look forward to watching a young guy get in there and giving us what he’s got and putting him in positions to be successful. But yeah, it has been a revolving door with some players in our position, but we’re always prepared for it and we get those guys ready to go.”
His father being a finalist for the Hall of Fame:
“We were really excited about it, really proud knowing the hard work that he put in throughout his career with the two different teams and just kind of seeing that pro when you start with just wanting to be in a league and you started in the USFL and then getting in the NFL and just wanting to make a team, and then the next thing you know, you’ve made some all-pros and pro bowls. Just seeing that transition still now, it’s really exciting and we’re just proud and thankful.”
Asked Saahdiq Charles if he feels he's best suited for guard, he said, "I feel like I'm best suited to block, man."— John Keim (@john_keim) December 31, 2021
Next man up:
CB Danny Johnson said "it's been a crazy month. It's really interesting with so much going on. Guys are trying to get through it together, leaning on one another... Have to have a next man up mentality and use what you have to go out and try to win the game."— John Keim (@john_keim) December 31, 2021