Football Team

Washington's 53-man roster is set, but some questions remain

Football Team

The Washington Football Team finalized its 53-man roster on Saturday, but that group and the one that is around for the opener on Sep. 13 against the Eagles could look a bit different.

With that in mind, here are a few questions the franchise still has to answer (which also highlight some areas they could still tinker with) before the 2020 NFL season begins.

Will anyone head to the temporary injured reserve?

Saahdiq Charles is the main player who comes to mind here.

When he met with the media after completing cuts, Ron Rivera said that Charles is starting to run around a bit and he's beginning to look "pretty good" as he tries to put a calf injury behind him. The coach also said that no, Charles isn't a candidate for short-term IR. 

But Washington's O-line, and particularly their tackles, struggled at camp, and if Charles can't contribute there soon, it would make sense for the team to move him to IR and get more reinforcements at the position for the first few matchups. 

Bryce Love also seemed like someone who could be heading down this path, but Rivera likes what he's seen from the running back in the past week or so. Wes Schweitzer has also been banged up for much of August.

Alex Smith, however, is solidified on the 53, per Rivera. 

RELATED: From impossible to reality, Alex Smith makes Washington's roster

Who's the backup QB?

Smith was a main topic of conversation during Rivera's Zoom, and deservedly so. If you're getting a bit tired of people telling you how ridiculous his comeback is, stop getting tired, because it can't be discussed enough.

 

Yet where does he go now?

Rivera was pressed multiple times on whether Smith was ready for full contact and if he'd be comfortable turning to Smith versus the Eagles. In response to that second inquiry, he said: "Yeah."

Kyle Allen is also in the mix, though, and while he didn't generate a lot of huge throws in Ashburn, he's obviously played more recently than Smith has and could be better suited to hop off the sideline should something happen to Dwayne Haskins.

Rivera can claim he's prepared to use Smith at QB, but actually making him the backup to Haskins is a whole other step.

Will another wideout be added?

With both Cam Sims and Trey Quinn being released, the offense currently has just five receivers to work with: Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Dontrelle Inman and Isaiah Wright. 

That number can work, but six is typically the amount of guys who make a roster at the position. Aside from the slightly lower than usual count, it's also an inexperienced bunch, with a pair of second-year pros and a pair of rookies slotted next to Inman. 

Now, Rivera noted that his running backs — namely Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic — could take snaps at wideout should there be an issue on gameday, and they're going to be involved in that aspect of the attack anyway. So, the coach could roll with his five and supplement them with some help out of the backfield.

Still, Rivera did acknowledge he'll "watch" and "check out what's happening" around the league at receiver, so it is possible Haskins could find himself with a new target soon.