Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke to the media for the second day in row. Yesterday he gave a lot of injury updates, and we got a much better idea after today’s practice how some of those players are doing. Chase Young was prepared and ready to go. He spoke to the media in the locker room and sounded more confident than he has in the last few weeks. Trust in his reconstructed knee has been an issue. He was asked about returning for the Giants game at MetLife Stadium, which is notorious for injuries on its turf. He told reporters that its not good for knee and ankle injuries and would obviously prefer to play on grass.
Rivera talked about today’s practice after a long bye week break. He said there was some sloppiness and some things that the team needs to clean up as they prepare for their biggest game of the season. This week’s rematch against the Giants has been flexed to Sunday Night Football, and could be do or die for the loser. Playoff odds make the winner a heavy favorite, and the non-winner is likely to miss out on the postseason. Rivera, like Jon Allen, is imploring the fans to come out, give their support to the team, and get loud as they try to beat the Giants and continue their path to the playoffs.
Tyler Larsen suffered a season-ending knee injury vs the Giants in Week 13, and was placed on IR yesterday. Wes Schweitzer was activated from IR two weeks ago, after missing 9 games due to a concussion. He came into the game at RG after RT Sam Cosmi, who was filling in for an injured Trai Turner, left the game with an ankle injury. Rivera said that Schweitzer is a smart player, and he kept himself in shape while he was sidelined. He will get the start at center over backup Nick Martin who replaced Larsen when he was injured.
LIVE: HC Ron Rivera speaks to the media https://t.co/YarkbmGh4T— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) December 14, 2022
Washington Commanders vs New York Giants Wednesday Injury Report https://t.co/dv4bUh5xkm— COMMANDERS FOOTBALL (@HogsHaven) December 14, 2022
Ron Rivera said Chase Young came in prepared and ready to go. He moved around pretty good, all things considered, he said.— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 14, 2022
Cleaning some things up in practice:
Rivera was pleased with the energy and enthusiasm today. There were some minor details that they need to get cleaned up tomorrow— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 14, 2022
Rivera said Wes Schweitzer will be at center. Called him a smart player.— John Keim (@john_keim) December 14, 2022
Rivera on Wes Schweitzer: "It's good to have him back. ... The biggest thing is we have to make sure we communicate."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 14, 2022
Importance of Sunday’s game:
Rivera said Sunday is a very important game for the team and will dictate where they're headed— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 14, 2022
Fans at FedEx Field:
Rivera said it would be "awesome" to have a big fan showing on Sunday. He wants them to know that the team is doing everything it can to earn their respect— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 14, 2022
Rivera said of the fans on Sunday: "We've worked to become relevant, worked to get their focus and attention back on us... Trying to earn their respect back."— John Keim (@john_keim) December 14, 2022
Rivera called Saquon Barkley "one of the premier guys in this league. It's good to see him back." He said they also have to handle Daniel Jones' running and, off that, the PA and screen game. "If you slow the run game, you make their screen game and play action less effective."— John Keim (@john_keim) December 14, 2022
Curtis Samuel’s injury/surgery last year:
Rivera said they made a mistake last year by not disclosing Curtis Samuel's surgery until late in the season. He said they wanted to keep it quiet, but disclosing it would have bought patience.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 14, 2022
"Now that he's healthy ... that's what it's all about."
Red zone offense:
Ron Rivera said a focus for him during the bye is the red-zone offense. Commanders getting points, but not touchdowns.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 14, 2022
Rivera pointed to two areas that they focused on during the bye: red zone offense and handling the QB runs early in games. They've adjusted in the second half of games to slow those runs, but the early runs have extended multiple drives.— John Keim (@john_keim) December 14, 2022
A very relaxed and confident Chase Young just now. Much different from his last media session: pic.twitter.com/mBfsNovvDu— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 14, 2022
Trusting the process:
Chase Young on trusting the process with his knee recovery. pic.twitter.com/vGHgktZqx4— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 14, 2022
Envisioning his return:
Will Chase Young make his season debut on Sunday?— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) December 14, 2022
We still don't know that answer.
Today, he said he's been envisioning getting a sack, getting in the back field adding "when I'm on the field, I'm on there."
More tonight on @7NewsDC pic.twitter.com/2nWnqEIIlM
St-Juste is at practice today with his helmet on stretching with the team. A great sign— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 14, 2022
Trai Turner is at practice as well— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 14, 2022
Trai Turner (ankle/knee) Montez Sweat and James Smith-Williams also here. https://t.co/2Dts0O17SC— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 14, 2022
St-Juste (ankle) was with his positions group during drills but didn’t see him doing all the work. OL Sam Cosmi (ankle) and G Trai Turner (ankle/knee) both were working.— John Keim (@john_keim) December 14, 2022
Montez Sweat/Chase Young:
Montez Sweat and Chase Young going thru DL drills pic.twitter.com/wZTwhbdBXp— Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_Cadeaux) December 14, 2022
Wes Schweitzer is taking snaps at center pic.twitter.com/VoXC05aFiA— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 14, 2022
St.-Juste looked really good. Seemed to go through all the individual drills and was cutting like normal. Good sign.— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) December 14, 2022