The Redskins’ bubble players on Monday received another chance to prove themselves, and some could have helped their cases for roster spots, while others could have seen hopes dim.
In our second projection of the 53-man roster, we have some changes, but a lot remains the same.
Saturday represents another audition opportunity prior to Tuesday’s first cut-down day (from 90 to 75 players), and then next Thursday, they’ll get one last shot before the final cut day on Aug. 30.
Here’s a look at how things could stand now:
Quarterback – 3: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
(Last week: Griffin, Cousins, McCoy)
This projection remains the same. Jay Gruden again spoke highly of McCoy and his contributions to the room, and he also is the insurance policy if Griffin, who in Game 2 displayed his reckless side again, if the starter can’t remain healthy and Cousins has to take over.
Running back – 4: Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, fullback Darrel Young
(Last week: Morris, Helu, Thompson, Young)
Royster replaces Thompson, who has yet to get back on the field following a low ankle sprain. With Thompson out, the three competitors for the spots behind Morris and Helu – Royster, Silas Redd and Lache Seastrunk – made their case on Monday, and it was Royster, who had a 24-yard catch-and-run and a hard-fought two-yard rushing touchdown.
Wide receiver – 6: Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Ryan Grant
(Last week: Garcon, Jackson, Roberts, Moss, Robinson, Grant)
Rashad Ross for a second straight week made a play both on offense and special teams. He had a 42-yard kickoff return, and had a 43-yard catch. However, it’s still hard to envision the undrafted rookie overtaking one of the six guys ahead of him. Leonard Hankerson still could open the season on PUP.
Tight end – 3: Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
(Last week: Reed, Paulsen, Paul)
Again, this is pretty cut and dried. Ted Bolser didn’t make any noise in the second preseason game, Mike Caussin remains sidelined with a knee injury, and Matt Veldman was signed last week to serve as a practice body.
Offensive line – 10: Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Mike McGlynn, Spencer Long, Josh LeRibeus, Tom Compton.
(Last week: Williams, Lauvao, Lichtensteiger, Chester, Polumbus, Moses, McGlynn, Long, Compton)
LeRibeus didn’t necessarily do anything spectacular to work his way back into the mix. He had some solid moments in this past week’s game, but he again blew some assignments. But, the team hasn’t closed the book on him. Some in the building believe that he can still possibly develop into a starter, but that he’s still probably a year away from that. It’s hard – because of needs in other areas – to see them carrying 10 linemen. But he has experience that none of the other backups do.
Defensive line – 6: Chris Baker, Barry Cofield, Jason Hatcher, Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Neild, Kedric Golston
(Last week: Baker, Cofield, Hatcher, Jenkins, Neild, Golston)
This group remains the same, and I still have Stephen Bowen opening the season on PUP. He restructured his deal to give the team more flexibility, but he doesn’t look like he’s ready to come off the PUP list.
Linebacker – 9: Ryan Kerrigan, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley Jr., Brian Orakpo, Trent Murphy, Adam Hayward, Will Compton, Rob Jackson, Darryl Sharpton
(Last week: Kerrigan, Robinson, Riley, Orakpo, Murphy, Hayward, Compton, Jackson, Sharpton)
Sharpton missed the last game with a high ankle sprain, and competing inside linebacker Akeem Jordan made a nice special teams tackle. But Sharpton’s athleticism and nose for the ball still give him the edge.
Cornerback – 5: DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, E.J. Biggers, Bashaud Breeland, Tracy Porter
(Last week: Hall, Amerson, Biggers, Breeland, Porter)
Breeland continues to impress, bouncing back from his marijuana possession incident in Richmond, and having a strong game on Monday night. Coaches love his physicality and feel like it’s only a matter of time before he works his way onto the field in a key role. Richard Crawford’s best bet could’ve been special teams, but he hasn’t been used as a return man, as he was his rookie year. Crawford hasn’t really made any notable plays on defense in the past two games.
Safety – 4: Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo
(Last week: Meriweather, Clark, Thomas, Rambo, Robinson)
The Redskins like Trenton Robinson on special teams, but the numbers at other positions would make it hard to keep five safeties. Rambo has displayed improvement, and he and Thomas both are being used on special teams. Akeem
Jordan Davis could be stashed on the practice squad and called up for special teams help should someone go down with injury.
Specialists – 3: Zach Hocker, Robert Malone, Nick Sundberg
(Last week: Forbath, Malone, Sundberg)
Forbath made his lone field-goal attempt versus Cleveland – a 26-yarder. But kickoffs remain an issue for him. While Hocker had a touchback out the back of the end zone to open the game and then sent his other two attempts four and six yards into the end zone, Forbath didn’t have any touchbacks, and got only one of his kicks into the end zone (four yards). Consistency is key for a place kicker, and although Forbath has the track record on field goals, kickoffs could hurt him. Malone beat out Blake Clingan, and then Washington brought in Tress Way. Given his struggles in Chicago, it doesn’t seem likely that Way would overtake Malone.
We’ll check back in next week to see where things stand, and if anyone has made a strong push, or big slide, with their play against the Ravens.
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