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WFT Stock Report: Injuries, covid force new faces into key roles

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RICHMOND -- Washington only practiced one day in the sweltering sun, but that doesn't mean there's already movement on a roster in flux. 

Injuries and COVID-19 are giving new and young players opportunities that might not have emerged, and for some veterans, that could be bad news. 

Stock Up

  • Landon Collins - The dude returned from an Achilles tear in about nine months. That's a remarkable recovery, and more importantly, will keep him in the safety rotation throughout training camp. His 2020 season was a disappointment, but that doesn't mean he can't perform better in 2021. Don't forget that Collins logged nearly 120 tackles with two forced fumbles and a sack in 2019 for Washington, or that he was an All-Pro player for the Giants in 2016. 
  • Sam Cosmi - Fair or not, with veteran tackle Cornelius Lucas on the Covid list, the second-round draft pick Cosmi gets immediate opportunity to earn the starting right tackle job for Washington. It's likely that Cosmi would have gotten a chance at the gig anyway, but now the runway gets much longer. And while Cosmi is getting more work, he's still a rookie, and that showed on Wednesday. On one early rep, Chase Young abused the Texas alum in team drills. 

Stock Down

 
  • Curtis Samuel - Listen, it's late July and Samuel's time on the PUP list could be short-lived. It could also prove to be a super minor groin injury that's keeping him out of practice, an abundance of caution as Ron Rivera has explained. But that doesn't change the fact that Samuel missed all of minicamp and now is missing training camp. It might not be a big deal, not yet anyway, but we can't pretend it's good either, especially as wideouts work on timing with new quarterbacks.
  • Herd immunity - NFL rules and federal laws prevent teams from disclosing what players have been vaccinated, but after Ron Rivera expressed his extreme frustration about Washington's low vaccination rate it seems like trouble could be on the horizon. While the punitive extremes of forfeited games and lost game checks for players still seem far off, the vibe at training camp suggests plenty of players remain hesitant to get the shot.