Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera and Tight Ends Coach Juan Castillo spoke to the media after today’s practice. Rivera gave reporters the good news that the rookie WR Jahan Dotson would be making his return to the field for Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Washington’s first round pick this year started the season off strong, finding the end zone and earning rookie of the week awards. He injured his hamstring, and then reaggravated it, which resulted in 5 games lost of a promising rookie campaign.
Chase Young was designated to return to the Reserve/PUP list last Wednesday. This started the 21-day period for the Commanders to evaluate him, and either activate him, or shut him down for the season. DC Jack Del Rio said he wasn’t back at full speed, and Rivera said they held him out of practice yesterday because it was in the bubble and on a harder surface. The team has until 4pm on Monday to activate him, but there doesn’t seem to be any chance that happens this week. Washington will have another 11 days to active him, and he could be available for the next two games.
Carson Wentz broke his right ring finger on a Thursday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears on October 13th. He was placed on injured reserve, and has to miss a minimum of 4 games before being activated if he is cleared. Monday’s game against the Eagles is that fourth game, so Wentz would be eligible to return to participation in practice next week. He has been present at practice every day, and Rivera said he has been able to learn the offense better by watching Taylor Heinicke taking first team snaps. Wentz is throwing the ball “lightly”, which sounds like he could still be a week or two away from returning to full participation in practice.
Washington fans have a vested interest in Wentz’s return due to conditions of the trade with the Indianapolis Colts. If Wentz plays 70% or more of Washington’s snaps the Colts get their 2nd round pick next year; if he plays less, the Colts only get their 3rd round pick. Rivera has said he won’t determine who plays by a condition in a contract, but it looks like Wentz’s injury could save the head coach from having to make that decision.
Washington Commanders vs Philadelphia Eagles Saturday Injury Report https://t.co/QTgVzy2AA5— COMMANDERS FOOTBALL (@HogsHaven) November 12, 2022
No injury designation for Jahan Dotson entering Monday night. That means he'll play for the first time since Week 4 in Dallas— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) November 12, 2022
Ron Rivera on Chase Young: "He's made incremental progress. ...We'll see how we progresses. We're not going to play him unless we feel he's absolutely ready roll. He's had good practices, but there are still some things he's not comfortable doing."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 12, 2022
Rivera said Young didn't practice Friday because they were indoors on a harder surface. Losing that practice sounds pivotal for a shot at availability Monday.— John Keim (@john_keim) November 12, 2022
Carson Wentz is able to "lightly" throw and threw today, Rivera said. Wentz would be technically eligible to return from IR next week.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) November 12, 2022
Carson Wentz is able to throw "lightly" these days, per Ron Rivera. Ron also thinks this "pause" has benefitted Carson mentally; he's been able to stand back with coaches and react to Taylor's reads. Rivera thinks Wentz's understanding of the offense has grown— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) November 12, 2022
TEs coach Juan Castillo told us a long story about how he and Ron Rivera used to compete in weightlifting back in the day and how, after outdoing Ron early, Ron dedicated himself to a regimen and eventually matched Juan. To Juan, that was an early glimpse at Ron's work ethic— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) November 12, 2022
Castillo coached in Philly for 18 years. Said he has a special place in his heart for Philly.— John Keim (@john_keim) November 12, 2022
C Tyler Larsen back practicing today. LB Cole Holcomb and RB JD McKissic still not practicing— John Keim (@john_keim) November 12, 2022
TE Armani Rogers wasn’t on the injury report Friday, but this morning, he’s on the bike. We’ll check in with Ron Rivera later. pic.twitter.com/mEtZB5TuAv— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) November 12, 2022
WR Jahan Dotson getting work in red zone drills. Always a good sign.— John Keim (@john_keim) November 12, 2022