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Daily Slop - 28 Aug 23: Links to articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders, the NFC East and the NFL in general

A collection of articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders, the NFC East and the NFL in general

NFL: APR 27 2023 Draft Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Commanders links


Sports Illustrated

Commanders LB Khaleke Hudson’s First Team Experience ‘Very Valuable’

With a strong training camp and preseason Washington Commanders linebacker looks like a lock to make the initial 53-man roster.

Hudson got those reps because linebacker Jamin Davis was coming back from a minor offseason knee procedure causing him to miss some days altogether and putting him in with the second-team for a time as he eased his way into first-team activities.

That valuable opportunity helped the fourth year linebacker accelerate his development a bit this preseason, and helped him stand out on a stacked defense all through training camp.

And in the end, Hudson believes he took full advantage of his opportunity to grow in Davis’ place.

“I feel like I did the best that I can. I feel like I left everything out there, I left no doubt out there,” Hudson said. “I just knew for myself I didn’t want to look back and think, ‘Oh I wish I would’ve (done) this different or I wish I would’ve went harder here.”

Hudson will take that confidence that there’s nothing he didn’t do, or anything he held back for the coaches to see, as he awaits his fate Tuesday afternoon as dreaded cut day approaches.

While we’re confident he’ll be on the active roster, the players know it’s dangerous to count on something before it becomes official.

DC Sports King

Commanders WR Mitchell Tinsley makes strong case in preseason finale to make team

Tinsley made two impressive plays in the Commanders’ 21-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

His first play came in the second quarter. Tinsley ran a post route from the slot, deep across the Bengals’ zone defense. Washington’s quarterback Jacoby Brissett slid through the pocket to deliver a strike. Tinsley did the rest, cutting up the sideline and making a defender miss to get into the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown.

Mitchell Tinsley made his presence felt in the third quarter, beating Bengals cornerback Allan George with an out-and-up to get free down the sideline. Tinsley was a foot short of the end zone. But his 38-yard reception set up Washington’s second touchdown, taking the lead 14-10.

Tinsley finished with three catches, a game-high 89 receiving yards, and a touchdown. After the game, Tinsley said he did enough to make Washington’s 53-man roster.

Commanders Wire

Every NFL team’s most surprising cut candidate

Washington Commanders: OT Braeden Daniels

There are some competitive battles at multiple positions for the Commanders as they look to round out the initial 53-man roster. Several players are battling for what is likely two spots at wide receiver, while there is also a battle for the final cornerback spot. However, one of the more intriguing players to watch is a 2023 fourth-round draft pick. Washington selected Utah OT Braeden Daniels in the fourth round, believing he could play tackle in the NFL, despite others believing his future home would be at guard. Things haven’t gone smoothly for Daniels. And for a team with real offensive line concerns, especially at tackle, can the Commanders afford to wait for Daniels to develop him? Or move him to guard? And if they move him to guard, there are others ahead of him there. It’s doubtful head coach Ron Rivera would cut a fourth-round pick, but several others have been better, including undrafted guard Mason Brooks. This situation will be interesting to watch.

Bullock’s Film Room

Washington Commanders Initial 53-man Roster Projection

Projecting who makes it onto the Commanders initial 53-man roster ahead of the roster cut down deadline.

With the final preseason game in the books, it’s time for the Washington Commanders, and every other team in the NFL, to begin trimming down their rosters. Washington has some tough decisions to make in quite a few spots, which speaks to an improved depth of the overall roster. Here’s what I’m projecting to be the initial 53-man roster, which of course could change quickly if they see a player or two cut by another team that they like.

Riggo’s Rag

Commanders 2023 practice squad projection prior to final cuts

The Commanders have 16 available spots open on their 2023 practice squad.

Commanders QBs

  • Jake Fromm.

It is highly unlikely that the Washington Commanders will keep all three of their current quarterbacks on the final roster. Sam Howell is young and Jacoby Brissett is durable. Neither has a history of injuries. So Jake Fromm holds the third signal caller spot on the practice squad.

For those suggesting that he should move ahead of Brissett into the second spot after an outstanding preseason, that is not happening,

Commanders RBs

  • Derrick Gore, Jonathan Williams.

It will kill some of us to release Jaret Patterson, who produces in preseason whenever he gets the chance. But you cannot afford to spend three slots on running backs.

Jonathan Williams is a proven hard-nosed runner who can fill in for Brian Robinson Jr. or Chris Rodriguez Jr. in case of injury. And Derrick Gore is a very good all-purpose back who has some history with Eric Bieniemy.

Commanders WRs

  • Kazmeir Allen, Marcus Kemp.

First of all, due to Terry McLaurin’s injury, I have Mitchell Tinsley on the final 53-man roster. This frees up an extra spot.

I assume Kazmeir Allen lost his chance to make the final roster – not due to his drops at wide receiver – but due to his clear discomfort as a punt returner. But he remains a talented developmental player.

Marcus Kemp is here for special teams play. I think he offers a little more versatility than Kyric McGowen for that second spot.

Podcasts & videos

Locked on Commanders: Washington Commanders Preseason Review: Quarterback Efficient, Pass Rush Lacking | Fromm and Tinsley

NFC East links

USA Today

Every NFL team’s most surprising cut candidate

Dallas Cowboys: DE Dorance Armstrong

A bit of a cheat here, as Armstrong isn’t a likely cut candidate but he could be missing when that initial 53-man roster comes out. Armstrong has long been on our list as a trade candidate, and his absence in the preseason is pretty peculiar. The Cowboys have an embarrassment of riches at defensive end and look to have stolen Isaiah Land as a UDFA as an upside project. Dallas could roll with Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, Sam Williams and Dante Fowler, along with Land who they will have to forget and trade Armstrong, who faded down the stretch after a strong 2022 start, for an OL piece.

New York Giants: S Bobby McCain

When the Giants lost former team captain Julian Love to the Seattle Seahawks in free agency, they immediately set out to replace him. Veteran Bobby McCain was the guy they zeroed in on, signing him to a $1.4 million contract. However, the team’s youth movement at safety has altered plans a bit and McCain is no longer the roster lock many assumed he was just a month ago. Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton and Nick McCloud have all played well this summer and although he’s strong against the run, McCain could be the odd-man out. Some may have expected wide receiver Sterling Shepard to be named here, but he’s more of a 53-man roster lock than a potential surprise cut.

Philadelphia Eagles: LB Nicholas Morrow

Morrow played every snap for the Bears in 2022, leading Chicago in tackles. Morrow signed a $1.15 million deal with Philadelphia in free agency, with none of the money guaranteed. Morrow entered training camp as a potential starter at one linebacker spot, but he’s now looking like the odd man out in a battle with the newly signed LB Zach Cunningham and LB Christian Elliss. Undrafted rookie linebacker Ben VanSumeren has flashed positive traits, and Nolan Smith has taken snaps at the weakside linebacker spot, making Morrow even more expendable.

Big Blue View

Bryce Ford-Wheaton injury: Giants to place rookie WR on IR with torn ACL

Undrafted free agent appeared on verge of making the 53-man roster

Rookie wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton will be placed on injured by the New York Giants after suffering a torn ACL in Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets.

Ford-Wheaton, an undrafted free agent out of West Virginia, was bidding for a spot on the 53-man roster before suffering the injury early in Saturday’s game.

During the television broadcast of the Giants’ second preseason game, against the Carolina Panthers, GM Joe Schoen had name-dropped Ford-Wheaton for his special teams potential.

Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey had also praised Ford-Wheaton’s potential.

NFL league links


Washington Post

An unusual NFL preseason winds down after another frightening injury

For the second time in an unusual NFL preseason marked by questions about the value of joint practices, a game ended prematurely Saturday night because of a frightening injury that left players and coaches shaken.

Miami Dolphins rookie wide receiver Daewood Davis was carted off the field and taken to a hospital with a head and neck injury midway through the fourth quarter of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniel, Jaguars Coach Doug Pederson and the teams’ NFL Players Association representatives made the decision to end the game.

“Our guys are hurting but relieved,” McDaniel said, his voice cracking at times. “You could see in the collective faces of both teams, their mind wasn’t on football at all. So I thought it was inappropriate to play football.”

Only a week ago, the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers canceled the remainder of their game after a similar injury sent Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden off on a stretcher and to a hospital. Bolden also had movement in his extremities and was released the next day, returning to New England with his relieved teammates.

Matthew Slater, the Patriots’ special teams captain, praised Coach Bill Belichick, who showed “no hesitation” in the decision to end the game, as did Packers Coach Matt LaFleur. “Look, this is not the AFC Championship. We’re not playing for records,” Slater said. “It’s preseason Game 2. When you have an injury like that, it affects a lot of guys in a lot of different ways. Clearly, our team was shaken by what happened.”

In another departure from previous years, some coaches also have walked away from joint practices with other teams. Joint practices have for years been a common occurrence for teams looking to break up the monotony of training camp and expose marginal players to more realistic game situations. The Packers and Patriots had held joint practices ahead of their game, but after the Bolden injury the Patriots, who were scheduled for another round with the Tennessee Titans last week, opted to cancel those in advance of the teams’ meeting Friday night in Nashville.

2023 NFL preseason, Week 3: What We Learned from Saturday’s games

RB3 caps off quality preseason. After coming into training camp as a sixth-round pick out of Kentucky, Commanders rookie Chris Rodriguez Jr. has likely worked his way into a solid position on the depth chart, having shown consistent success through the three preseason games. Between the first two contests Rodriguez had 10 attempts for a combined 70 yards. To cap things off, Rodriguez exploded for a 25-yard run in the second quarter of Saturday’s game, part of a 52-yard showing to close out August. Washington’s rushing attack was No. 12 in the league in 2022 with the duo of Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson in charge, but behind them there are some available snaps, opening things up for a player like Rodriguez to establish himself as a quality backup. Depth at an injury-prone position like running back is never a bad thing, and Rodriguez has proved himself to be a dependable third option with a solid preseason showing.

Dak-coached offense piles on the points. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott added a new title to his resume in Saturday’s matchup with the Raiders, taking on play-calling duties for the entirety of the game. He directed a touchdown drive with Cowboys backups right off the bat, capped by QB Will Grier rolling out and going for the corner of the end zone to score. Later in the half, Dak proved himself to be a risk-taker when calling plays, having the offense go for it in a fourth-and-1 situation. The run play via Hunter Luepke was enough for a first down, and nine plays later the Cowboys punched it in for another score on a catch by rookie tight end Luke Schoonmaker. The Cowboys kept it going, totaling 457 net yards and 31 points by the end of the night. We’ll see Dak take off the headset, hand over the play-calling duties to head coach Mike McCarthy and put back on his helmet in a couple weeks for Week 1, but in his first effort at play-calling, Prescott had himself a day.