Washington Commanders Head Coach spoke to the media after today’s practice, but the team did not provide video of the presser. Washington has ruled out 5 players for Sunday’s home game against the Green Bay Packers and also placed rookie CB Tariq Castro-Fields on IR earlier today. Three players are listed as questionable, and Rivera seemed optimistic about Jahan Dotson and John Bates playing this week. Dotson tweaked his hamstring in practice yesterday, and has already missed two games due to the injury.
Rivera also provided a small update on Chase Young’s potential return from last year’s season-ending ACL injury. Young had to have ACL reconstruction that involved using a graft from his left patellar tendon to reconstruct the ACL in his right knee. Young is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews on Sunday, but Rivera said that preliminary reports have looked good. If Young is cleared by Dr. Andrews he could return to practice next Wednesday which would start his 21 day window for the team to either activate him, or shut him down for the season.
WR Jahan Dotson - The Commanders 1st round rookie has missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury and he reaggravated the injury in practice yesterday. He’s questionable for Sunday.
Rivera said Jahan Dotson felt good this morning, though he didn't practice today. They'll see how he is tomorrow.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) October 21, 2022
TE John Bates - He was dealing with a calf injury, then suffered a hamstring injury on Thursday that kept him out of practice the last two days. Bates felt better today, but newly signed FB Alex Armah could be active if he can’t go.
Rivera said TE John Bates "had a good day today." Bates told him his hamstring is feeling a lot better than last week and than how he felt even on Tuesday. Key will be how he feels tomorrow morning. If he can't play, Alex Armah would go -- but he's more a FB type.— John Keim (@john_keim) October 21, 2022
RT Sam Cosmi - Washington’s starting right tackle had thumb surgery a few weeks ago, but returned to practice yesterday with a cast on. He was limited again today.
TE Logan Thomas - Thomas came back from an ACL tear, but is now dealing with a calf injury.
RB Jonathan Williams - Injured his knee two weeks ago, and will miss his second straight game.
WR Dyami Brown - Had his breakout game two weeks ago, but was limited in Thursday’s game.
CB William Jackson III - He’s still dealing with a back injury, and rumors of a trade request
QB Carson Wentz - Had surgery this week and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The team has not placed him on IR.
S Percy Butler - The rookie safety missed the last two games with a quad injury. He doesn’t have an injury designation and looks like he’ll make his return to the lineup this week.
CB Tariq Castro-Fields - The rookie CB injured his knee during the early portion of Wednesday’s practice and was placed on IR today.
Ron Rivera Presser
Rivera called Daron Payne "a solid, stout football player." Said that he and Jon Allen have been a really good tandem— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) October 21, 2022
Ron Rivera on if Daron Payne has a long-term future in Washington: "I'd like to think so." Payne is playing on the final year of his contract. Ron believes in the value of interior linemen on D but — and this is me saying this — the money may get tight. Montez is balling now too— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) October 21, 2022
Rivera has seen a difference in the d-line's production over the last two weeks. He's seen growth in the entire group. They're running their stunts more efficiently and getting vertical— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) October 21, 2022
“I’ve seen a difference in their play. The group. I think that’s been a big part of it. You know when you sit there and you watch the tape and you look at some of the rushes that we’ve gotten and you look at how it’s synced, you know, we run a line stunt and you see guys coming in and not only are they doing the stunt properly, but they’re also following up. We have a couple stunts where we call a ricochet where the guy’s going to come down instead of just burying himself. He’s learned how to take that, put his hands in the right position and get vertical. That’s what you’re looking for, that growth. And that’s what we’re seeing. And because the result of it, not just him, but I mean [DE Efe Obada] had a couple of really good weeks. You look at that, you know, and Jonathan and Daron continued to play at a very, very steady pace, very impactful pace. Because anytime those guys are getting pushed, it allows the outside guys to have a little more success.”
“Well and you throw DE James Smith Williams into it as well and those three guys have highly productive for us. And that’s what you look for is that compliment. Because you’re not always going to have four crushers killers out there, but if you got a good combination of guys and you can rely on guys’ skill sets and rotate it that way, I mean it’s pretty exciting because the one thing Efe does for us too is Efe can come in and he plays a three technique in some of our pass rush situations. So really we have three defensive ends and one DT out there. That’s a pretty good combination for us because of the quickness that Efe brings at that position.”
Current play on the edge/not rushing Young back:
“Yes. The last two weeks have been very good for those five. For those guys that we just talked about. If they continue with that you say, wow, we do have something there. It takes a lot of pressure off. It does. And so that’s what we’re hoping for is that what we’ve seen is the group coming together, playing within their abilities and us being able to use those skill sets and make sure we’re rotating ‘em in at the right time.”
Ron Rivera said Chase Young will meet with the doc Sunday, but he had a preliminary report that came back "pretty good." So if all goes well, Sunday, the team could consider starting his clock and get him back at practice. Once they do, they have 21 days to activate him.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) October 21, 2022
“Actually felt pretty good this morning. Worked him out a little bit. They had him do some things and then we’ll see how he is tomorrow. That’s why he’s questionable. It could have been as little as scar tissue, could have a little, just a little aggravation but who knows? We’ll see how he feels tomorrow morning.
“Very cautious. It’s one of those things that, he comes in on Tuesday, Wednesday looks really good and then yesterday when he was decelerating, you saw it grab a little bit. So, our curiosity’s exactly what the extent is and you really can’t tell until a day or two later as to where it is. We’re gonna most certainly think about being on the safe side as opposed to trying to force a guy out there.”
“We’ll see how he gets in. He had a session today, I believe before he flies back. [Head Athletic Trainer] Al [Bellamy] will talk with the doctor and the therapist to see exactly where he is. The first couple days are very important. He’s had a couple of good days, but again, it’s still about what the doctor feels based on what he’s seen in terms of the rehab stuff he’s done on I believe it was Wednesday, Thursday and today.”
“Well, he’s doing well with it. The issue more so than anything else is it’s a club. Most of those guys want to be able to use their hands a little bit, all within the rules of course. And so that’s one thing. He’s just trying to figure out how to get comfortable with it. As far as that part’s concerned, I don’t think there’s any real pain from the surgery. We also gotta see how he feels with it. We’ve tried to watch the tape real close to get an indication if he is having some issues with it, but he seems to be fine right now.”
“John had a good day today. He really did. He actually told me it was a lot better than last week and actually a lot better than it was on Tuesday. So he’s feeling pretty good. We’ll see how he is tomorrow morning and then we’ll come in and we’ll get him in and out there on Sunday early and try and see where he is.”
“That’s very difficult. I do like the two guys that we have. I think bringing Alex Armah back gives us a guy, obviously it’ll be a different look when you have Alex in there. More of a little bit of a fullback. But if John’s not ready to go, Alex will be fine.”
“I’ll say this about J.D.. J.D. is a reluctant leader. He can step up and be, he really can step up if he wants to and he really doesn’t want to. I wish he would just because for those young guys, he’s the perfect example of hard work ethic, doing the little things and understanding how you fit and what your role is. He’s a guy that keeps everything lighthearted. He’s a good fit for what we want, what we’re trying to do. I really appreciate who he is for us. If you did ask me, one thing I would say, he’s a reluctant leader.”
Christian McCaffrey/trade deadline:
“Not necessarily. There might be one or two, they get more aggressive because they may feel this is the type of guy that could take us to the next level. It’s funny because you look at Christian and you see the things that he does and you see the value as a receiver as much as you do just a runner. I see J.D. McKissic in that same type of role. I see Antonio Gibson as a guy that could play a big role like that as far as what you wanna do offensively.
With Christian’s skill set and with the style offense that they run, I think he’s gonna be even more dynamic for them. It’s a little bit different, kind of in the, in the mode of the receiver they use. You take a Deebo and you put that skillset into play. Well, Christian’s got a little bit of that skill set as well because he is a good receiver too. There were times that we even stuck a guy like that in the slot and that’s where you look for mismatches. If a team’s gonna play him with a base defense and he goes into the slot, now all of a sudden you’re going to take a linebacker or bring a safety down, that’s something that you could try and exploit.”
Taylor Heinicke managing frustration:
“I think Taylor’s fine. He really is. I mean that’s why having a guy like that in the position he’s in is tremendous. First of all, he’s going to take this as this is his opportunity. He ain’t going to look at it any other way. Everything he’s done this week tells you that, hey, I’m the guy. I’m coming in and I’m playing. I am the guy, okay, which is great. Go out and do it. And that’s what he’s going to do. He’s got good command of the offense and it’s one of those things where you get out there and you know he has command, he’s going to see something, there’s a chance that because of his experience in it, that he could change something.
And he and I talked, I said, If you see something you want to do, do it. I mean, because he has that feel. And it reminds me of a little bit of watching Phillip Rivers when I was with him with the Chargers in this offense and seeing how Phillip did things. I see a little bit of that in Taylor. And the thing about Taylor that, that I think is good for him and good for us is he has an underdog mentality, you know, and he’s going to go out and show people. So I’m pretty excited to watch him play.”
Is there is a stretch where he would like to see QB Sam Howell at some point?:
“Yeah, there is. If there’s an opportunity or something like that and it calls for it, yes. I’m not going to be so stubborn, I’m not going to do it. I mean this is about growth now. Its looking at where we are and who we have and what we can potentially be. We have a chance to grow into something and I’d like to see us do that.”
Opportunity only available to see the rookie while Carson Wentz is out?
“I think when you get into a situation and let’s say you are winning, you win, you’re winning big, why not put the kid in? Why not see what’s happening? I don’t know when that is, but we’ll see.”
Dyami Brown and Jonathan Williams are on the side field to start practice. No sign of William Jackson III— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) October 21, 2022
Did not see WR Jahan Dotson on the field today. TE Logan Thomas went through stretching but that was it. WR Dyami Brown was working on the side field. OT Sam Cosmi was on the field.— John Keim (@john_keim) October 21, 2022
Art Monk and Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders!— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) October 21, 2022
With the Doug Williams cameo. pic.twitter.com/F7uCz01BoZ
Got the chance to hear from Art Monk during practice. He’s got eight grandkids and is loving life. Was at last night’s dinner with the current receiving group as well as Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders (who were also at practice today) pic.twitter.com/quttesYTKs— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) October 21, 2022
The Posse, plus QB Doug Williams, out at practice.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) October 21, 2022
Ricky Sanders joked that he was standing on the turf field where he ran a 4.3 40-yard dash a long, long time ago. pic.twitter.com/2r7PTz4Tqp
Asked, Art Monk, not a public guy, why he showed up for this alumni weekend. Hilarity ensued thanks to Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders. pic.twitter.com/v9BnWJCy1X— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) October 21, 2022