Redskins

Redskins

For most, Thursday's Redskins-Ravens preseason finale represents one last exhibition to get through before real NFL football begins the following weekend.

However, those 60 minutes at FedEx Field matter for some. Like, really, really matter. As in, they could decide whether certain players make a roster/practice squad or find themselves on the free agent market or, even worse, at the end of their careers.

So, which Redskins players could especially use a standout performance against the Ravens? Here are three.

Wes Martin

Martin, the team's fourth-round pick out of Indiana, won't be let go if he plays poorly when facing Baltimore's defense. That's not what's at stake for him. Rather, if he plays really well, he could be in line for more playing time at the outset of the regular season.

Jay Gruden told reporters earlier this week that Martin will "get a lot of reps" on Thursday. While Ereck Flowers is the starter at left guard as things stand now, his grip on that job is far from secure.

Martin making the most of those reps would make Gruden consider letting the rookie play in Week 1, or at least let him know that he's a viable option should things go bad with Flowers early on. 

Samaje Perine

Perine scored Washington's lone touchdown versus the Falcons, but overall, he has just 15 rushes for 30 yards so far in August. Two yards per carry is half of what the 2017 Draft pick would like to be producing heading into his third year.

 

The Redskins are definitely keeping Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson at running back, and it's entirely possible they settle on just those three for their initial 53-man roster. If they elect to go with four, though, Perine will be fighting with Byron Marshall to stick around.

This is a franchise that seems to give draft picks every last chance to hang on, so maybe Perine is already safe. It'd be prudent for him to go out and churn up yards, though, to really convince Gruden and Co he's worth a spot. Another lackluster effort, meanwhile, could doom him.

Steven Sims

The undrafted wideout is "electric," according to Gruden, and he's someone the head coach has monitored since rookie minicamp back in May. As guys like Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn sit on Thursday, Sims will have a major opportunity to rack up targets and come up with splash plays.

It's unclear what the franchise is going to do with Josh Doctson; trading him, cutting him or retaining him are all still on the table. Sims appears to be a prime practice squad candidate, but he could really improve his stock and perhaps push Doctson out by starring in this matchup.

And, as is the case with Sims and everyone else who'll take the field Thursday, they aren't just trying to impress their current coaching staff. There will, of course, be 31 other teams digging through the film to see who deserves to be in the league, too. 

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