2019 Washington Redskins' 53-man roster projection: Concussions cause major changes
2019 Redskins 53-man roster projection
The final edition of the 2019 Washington Redskins 53-man roster projection, now that training camp is coming to a close.
Dwayne Haskins, Case Keenum and Colt McCoy
Note: Keenum is your starter, Haskins is the backup. McCoy will be inactive on game days until his foot injury gets all the way back. Then things might get interesting.
Running Backs (3)
Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson
Note: The top three are locks, but Samaje Perine’s spot has never felt less sure. Does an uninspired preseason negate four months of Jay Gruden praising the third-year back out of Oklahoma? What does it mean that Perine was playing in the fourth quarter of the final preseason game?
The biggest question will be if the Redskins need additional roster spots at tight end or outside linebacker due to concussions to Jordan Reed and Cassanova McKinzy. If that happens, running back might lose depth, which means Perine might lose a job. Running backs are always available as free agents in the NFL, and with the concussion problems, this team has some tough decisions to make. That starts here.
Remember, last year the Redskins signed Adrian Peterson in mid-August. The year before, Kapri Bibbs got signed late in the fall. Teams can always find RBs.
Tight Ends (4)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle and JP Holtz
Note: Reed is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and that means Washington has very little idea when he will return. Gruden has said he expects his most dynamic pass-catching threat to be “fine” but does that mean for Week 1 or Week 5? Considering the uncertainty JP Holtz makes the final 53.
A big body that’s a capable blocker, Holtz had a nice catch and rumble down the field in the final preseason game against the Ravens.
Wide Receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn, Cam Sims, Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon
Note: The Redskins are going to try to trade Josh Doctson, but if they can’t, it seems unlikely for the team to release the former first-round pick. Robert Davis deserves to make this team, and if Doctson gets traded, Davis is absolutely the Redskins next WR in.
Other guys - Cam Sims, Steven Sims, Darvin Kidsy - all seem like practice squad players, or maybe Cam Sims sneaks to the injured reserve with a finger injury. Carrying a fourth TE hurts the Redskins options of keeping extra WRs.
Offensive Line (9)
Donald Penn, Wes Martin, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ross Pierschbacher, Tony Bergstrom, Geron Christian, and Ereck Flowers
Note: Unchanged. Trent Williams will not be with Washington any time soon.
The Redskins will be watching the waiver wire for other offensive linemen that become available too.
Defensive Line (5)
Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Daron Payne, Tim Settle and Caleb Brantley
Note: The best unit on the Redskins. The top five spots are locked in, though Brantley’s foot injury seems a little worrisome. Settle also had a preseason knee injury, but both men walked around the field and locker room during the fourth and final preseason game just fine.
JoJo Wicker would be the next man on the defensive line, but he and Ryan Bee are practice squad candidates right now.
Outside Linebackers (5)
Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, Ryan Anderson, Casanova McKinzy and Marcus Smith
Note: This is complicated. Rookie Jordan Brailford seems like he will land on the injured reserve with a leg injury that Jay Gruden said would take “weeks” to heal. After a great third preseason game in Atlanta, McKinzy suffered a concussion in the finale against Baltimore. McKinzy won’t need the IR but he might not be ready for Philly either.
That forces Washington to keep a fifth outside linebacker, and right now, Marcus Smith is the guy. Washington pro personnel boss Alex Santos will be looking all over the map for more OLB help as final rosters get made around the league.
Insider Linebackers (5)
Shaun Dion Hamilton, Jon Bostic, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Marquis Flowers and Cole Holcomb
Note: Injuries limited the time the Redskins inside linebackers hit the field in preseason, but it doesn’t change the depth chart here. Flowers, a veteran, gets the last spot among a group that is largely young and inexperienced.
Another spot Washington could add a new player if the right guy emerges.
Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jimmy Moreland, and Greg Stroman
Note: Norman, Dunbar and Moreau are absolute roster locks. So is Jimmy F’n Moreland. Moreau dealt with an injury scare, but was spotted in the Redskins locker room Thursday night with no cast on his leg and no crutches to help him move around. That came after Gruden said he won’t need surgery and that the news was good on his ankle. Moreau might be iffy for Week 1, but is good for the 53.
After that, Stroman had a mostly good preseason while Adonis Alexander did not. He was hurt for much of the summer, and when he played, struggled. The Redskins love his size and physicality, but they cannot afford a roster spot for Alexander.
They’ll try for the practice squad there. That leaves Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who seems like he has a safe roster spot. Seems being the operative word because he hardly played in preseason games. Maybe Washington was just keeping the veteran’s leg fresh for Philadelphia.
Landon Collins, Montae Nicholson, Troy Apke and Deshazor Everett
Note: Both second-year players, Jeremy Reaves is the better safety than Troy Apke right now. But Apke was a draft pick and has elite straight-line speed, and that might be enough to keep him on the roster.
Without head injuries to Reed and Mckinzy occupying important roster spots, Reaves would have a real chance at being the fifth safety. If news comes back fast on either Reed or McKinzy, maybe he still does.
Special Teams (3)
Dustin Hopkins, Tress Way, and Nick Sundberg
Note: Sundberg had back surgery late last year but is on track in his recovery.
Complete roster make-up (53)
25 offense, 25 Defense, 3 Special Teamers