The Washington Commanders won their first preseason game on Friday night, and returned to the practice field today. Chase Young(stinger) and Phidarian Mathis(calf) got injured during that game and weren’t full participants in today’s lighter workout. Logan Thomas also continues to miss time with a calf injury, and the Commanders signed a new TE today. Rivera cited injury prevention as one of the reasons they’re doing joint practices with the Ravens this week before the preseason game on Monday night.
LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media after Sunday's practice https://t.co/l16m9Z7f8b— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 13, 2023
Ron Rivera said "everything has been fine" with Chase Young's stinger, but they're following protocols and slowing him down.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 13, 2023
Phidarian Mathis has a calf injury. "A little sore," Rivera said.
Neither player practiced in team drills.
Ron Rivera addressing the media after practice. Chase Young suffered a stinger and was slowed down in practice today out of abundance of caution. Phidarian Mathis tweaked his calf during Friday's game. He participated in some drills today but slowed down as well— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) August 13, 2023
They didn’t practice fully. With Chase, he self-reported a stinger during the game, and so through an abundance of caution, we have slowed him down just to be smart more so than anything else. He’s got to get one more final exam so we can get him back out there. Everything has been fine. Again, we’re just being careful because this was a self-reported stinger. I don’t want to say protocol, but we have to follow the rules.
He had tweaked his calf and he did come back in, re-entered the game and take his reps. Today he’s a little sore. He was sore yesterday, sore today, and so the training staff wanted to slow him down a little bit. He did a few things and then we shut him down.
Mitchell Tinsley and the wide receivers competition:
I think it’s a very competitive young group of guys. We feel that we’ve got a good young core of guys that are competing for a position. Mitch has done a really nice job. There’s a number of them that have really come out and done some good things. I think when you look at them as a whole and for what they’ve had to learn this year compared to some of the other things, that group of guys have really done a nice job.
Joint practices with the Ravens:
Rivera said he and Ravens' HC John Harbaugh have already had conversations about how they want to structure their joint practices— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) August 13, 2023
Rivera stressed the importance of joint practices by saying that analytics have shown that teams are more physical and have fewer injuries during the season because of joint practices— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) August 13, 2023
One of the things that the league has shared with us has been the analytics that they’ve gotten on the joint practices. They’ve found that teams that in the last few years have had joint practices, the injury rate weeks one through five in the regular season go down. They’ve had a lot fewer. That’s one of the things that stood out when we talked about it. I did do it in the past and did feel that coming out of the gate we had a lot more intensity in terms of the way we approach things. I just wanted to keep it that way. Knowing that, especially with the injury rate thing, I thought that’s real important.
Practicing against another team:
I think that’s important more than anything else is going against a group of guys you don’t know. I think it’s going to be one of those things that will kind of push our guys to have to be good about every little detail. They should be all the time, but now you’re going against a group that you really don’t know so there’s a lot of things that you have to focus in on as you prepare.
Offensive line vs the Browns:
Rivera said the starting offensive line got more comfortable as the game went on, particularly during the third drive. Noticed some minor details that needed to be cleared up earlier in the game— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) August 13, 2023
First and foremost, you know, as they got more comfortable, you started to see them settle down, see the communication really pick up, especially in that last drive. I think early on there probably were a couple of things that needed to be corrected. Especially some of the techniques, some of the individual techniques, about making sure we’re getting a good vertical set. We’re not opening our hips, we’re lowering our targets, stuff like that.
Those are detailed things that I think as these guys continue to work and work their techniques and work their communication together, I think they’re going to improve. As I said, when you look at the third drive they were out there for, you saw some positive things, especially the way they finished it.
The Commanders worked centers Ricky Stromberg and Tyler Larsen at guard a bit today in practice.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 13, 2023
We’ve got three really good centers. I like him. I think Ricky’s done a nice job so far. I don’t know if you noticed today, but we started taking Ricky and Tyler and started working them at guard for some position flex as well. Because you know, if you have a guy up as the primary backup, he’s going to have to be flexible and be able to play more than one spot. So, we started doing that with both those guys, get them both back in the groove of playing guard in an emergency situation.
I think the biggest thing for Quan more than anything else was how hyped up he was. He played really fast, probably a little too fast at times. He settled in, I thought he did some good things. I saw he was very competitive, maybe overly aggressive a little bit, but he’s a guy I think that’s going to continue to grow and get better for us and the more he learns and more comfortable he gets within the scheme, you’ll see more opportunities for him rise up.
K.J. Henry & Andre Jones:
Rivera said KJ Henry and Andre Jones have been a work in progress. The two played well in the preseason game against the Browns, and they will play "a lot" during the Ravens joint practices— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) August 13, 2023
They’ll be a work in progress. We’ll see how it all goes. I mean, as I said, we’ve got two practices coming up, two games left to play and they’re going to play a lot. We got to get a lot of answers from those two. In particular, I like who they both are. I thought they both played well for their first chance, first opportunities. I think it took a little bit for them to get used to the speed and then you started to see some really good things on tape. I mean, some real technical things as we break ‘em down and watch ‘em, you feel really confident that if they continue to grow within the scheme of things, they have a chance to help.
Rivera said Kaz Allen is a young, dynamic player who has a lot to learn and a long way to go. "We do find him interesting and intriguing"— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) August 13, 2023
Interesting. I think that’s a good word I really do. He’s a young dynamic guy that’s got some explosion to him. He’s got a lot to learn, he really does, because he kind of bounced around positions at UCLA, but the one thing that did stand out, obviously, is he is explosive. But as I said, he’s got a long way to go. He really does. He’s a guy that’s going to take some time, but we do like him and we do find him interesting and intriguing.