RICHMOND—While most players on the Jets and Redskins dismissed the fight between the two teams as “boys will be boys” and “competitive football”, there was a real downside to the several dustups between the two teams.
Running back Rob Kelley said that he needs the reps to get ready to play. When players fight it wastes time that could be used to line up and run plays. Add to that the fact that lightning cut the practice short by about 20 minutes and that’s a lot of reps down the drain.
Kelley is in no danger of getting cut when the roster is reduced to 53 on September 1. But some other players are, and they need every opportunity that they can to make it as hard as possible for the Redskins to cut them. Time is running out for players like OL Kyle Kalis, RB Kapri Bibbs, WR Cam Sims, DL Phil Taylor, S Quin Blanding, S Kenny Ladler, and CB Danny Johnson to push for a roster spot.
They have today’s padded practice with the Jets and a lighter one tomorrow. Then, after a day off there is the preseason game against the Jets on Thursday night. Since only a handful of starters played in the preseason opener, they are likely to play longer this week. That leaves relatively few snaps for the players on the bubble.
The team returns to Redskins Park, where most of the focus will be on getting the first-team players ready to play in the third, “dress rehearsal” preseason game. The starters will play at least the first half against the Broncos. Then it’s a short week from that Friday night game to the preseason finale the following Thursday in Baltimore.
Adding it all up and you have 10 practices left, five of which are likely to be relatively light practices or walkthroughs. Then there are maybe 140 snaps of preseason football that will be available to bubble players.
It you’ve already started to show ability and consistency in practice and against the Patriots, that’s enough time to make your case to remain on the 53. But with time running out, mistakes will be magnified. A missed block, a blown coverage, or a dropped pass can do great damage to a player’s chances since there will be little time to make a good play to leave a positive impression.
Time is really running out for the players who are further down on the depth chart. They get limited snaps in practice anyway. Some of them won’t get a chance to play in either the second or third preseason games. There just aren’t enough snaps to go around.
The players scrapping for a roster spot aren’t completely in control of their own fates. Sometimes all they can do is hope. Over the next two days they will be hoping that the other players got the fighting out of their systems and that the rain holds off so that they can get in a full practice.
Redskins 2018 training camp news: