There are 90 players on the Washington Redskins at the moment, but for many, their dream of making an NFL roster will be destroyed in two weeks.
The cutdown to the 53-man roster looms Aug. 31, meaning a little less than half of the team’s current players won’t remain with Washington as it prepares for its Week 1 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.
But some players who entered training camp with an outside chance at a roster spot have made a push to be included in the final 53. Wide receiver Robert Davis stands out: He continues to make plays on the practice field and in preseason games — including an electrifying 55-yard touchdown catch from rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins in Thursday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Davis is one of the best stories of training camp after he recovered from tearing three ligaments (his ACL, lateral collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee during a camp practice last year. At the time of the injury, he had been in the mix to make the team, but this year, the wide receivers group is more crowded after the Redskins added two rookies in April’s draft. Is there room for Davis?
Much of the roster is set, but there are a handful of spots still open. With training camp in the past and two of the four preseason games complete, here is our updated prediction of the final 53-man roster:
(Note: Players are listed in alphabetical order.)
Quarterback (3): Dwayne Haskins, Case Keenum, Colt McCoy
Nothing has changed, although there is concern that McCoy’s leg injury is lingering much longer than expected. The Redskins were talking about getting him back if they made the playoffs last season, but he still hasn’t been available for a preseason game. Still, it would be a bit of a surprise if he did not make the roster. Keenum and Haskins aren’t going anywhere.
Running back (4): Derrius Guice, Samaje Perine, Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson
These four were locks heading into training camp, and nothing has happened to change that. Byron Marshall would make it if the team decides to keep five backs. Shaun Wilson was making a name for himself, especially in the return game, before being carted off with an ankle injury Thursday.
Wide receiver (7): Robert Davis, Josh Doctson, Kelvin Harmon, Terry McLaurin, Trey Quinn, Paul Richardson, Cam Sims
Davis is the new addition, and he has played well enough to make the team. But wide receiver is a numbers game. Would the Redskins go with seven instead of six, particularly if they keep three quarterbacks and have depth concerns at other positions? Davis keeps running past defenders and making plays; he has been the most dynamic wide receiver in the preseason games, posting touchdown catches of 46 and 55 yards. For a team that needs playmakers, can the Redskins afford to cut a guy like that?
Tight end (3): Vernon Davis, Jordan Reed, Jeremy Sprinkle
These three are clearly the top tight ends on the roster, but their limitations remain. They’re effective pass catchers who leave something to be desired as blockers. There doesn’t seem to be enough room to keep a blocking tight end such as Matt Flanagan.
Offensive line (9): Tony Bergstrom, Geron Christian, Ereck Flowers, Wes Martin, Morgan Moses, Donald Penn, Ross Pierschbacher, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff
Trent Williams’s holdout throws a wrench into all of this. He’s on the reserve/did not report list, so that’s where we’ll leave him for now. That means Penn makes the roster. Tackle Corey Robinson is on the bubble if the team wants to keep another tackle, but he hasn’t shown a ton.
Defensive line (5): Jonathan Allen, Caleb Brantley, Matt Ioannidis, Daron Payne, Tim Settle
This group is set, but depth has surfaced as a concern. Brantley has been dealing with a foot injury, and Settle left Thursday’s game with a sore knee. JoJo Wicker seems to be the next man up, but he isn’t likely to make the roster.
Linebacker (9): Ryan Anderson, Jordan Brailford, Jon Bostic, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Cole Holcomb, Ryan Kerrigan, Cassanova McKinzy, Montez Sweat
Depth issues also prevail here, with Hamilton (chest) and Holcomb (shoulder) missing the Bengals game. The inside has been a little shorthanded since the team released Mason Foster. Brailford spent some time on the physically unable to perform list with a groin injury, but the coaches like him. No one else has stepped up and proved he deserves a spot.
Cornerback (6): Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Jimmy Moreland, Josh Norman, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Greg Stroman
This is another position where the numbers game will catch up to some guys. This group has quality and depth, making it easy to justify keeping as many as seven players, even if six remains more likely. Danny Johnson is the odd man out in this scenario, simply because he remains on the PUP list. That’s a way to keep him from other teams if he still isn’t ready in two weeks.
Safety (4): Troy Apke, Landon Collins, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson
Jeremy Reaves has made some noise, but the Redskins are unlikely to keep five safeties. These are clearly the top four.
Special teams (3): K Dustin Hopkins, LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way
Hopkins didn’t have the best night Thursday with a missed extra point and a missed field goal, but these three aren’t going anywhere.
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