The Redskins are now halfway through the preseason and both injuries and performances in that game shuffled the 53-man roster with just two weeks and a day to go until cutdown day on September 5.
Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster when the dust settles and that roster is turned in plus a look at who is just hanging on and four who are just on the wrong side of the bubble. I’ve added some comments as needed.
Quarterback (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton, Spencer Long, Arie Kouandjio, Willie Smith
I don’t think that some bad plays among 15 snaps last night will cost Smith a chance to be Trent Williams’ backup. But he had better have things buttoned up the rest of the way.
Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer.
I don’t think that people should get irrationally exuberant over Rashad Ross catching nine passes for 107 yards in two games against second-level talent.
Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Je’Ron Hamm, Chase Dixon
I’m going with players who are on the roster as of right now; obviously this could change at any time.
Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson
Defensive line (7): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Stephan Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse
Outside linebacker (5): Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Houston Bates
Although the team hasn’t announced it yet it seems likely that inside linebacker Adam Hayward will be out for the season with a torn ACL. Bates, who has made plays all over the field during preseason games, may have the inside track on that linebacker roster spot.
Inside linebacker (4): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight
Hayward’s likely absence will hurt special teams perhaps more than it will hurt the defense.
Cornerback (4): Chris Culliver, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Justin Rogers
Bashaud Breeland will not be on Week 1 roster due to NFL suspension so he is not listed here.
Safety (5): Dashon Goldson, Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett, Trenton Robinson
Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Kai Forbath
The numbers: 25 offense, 25 defense, 3 specialists; 17 new to the Redskins organization in 2015 including eight draft picks (both Hamm and Dixon spent time on the Redskins’ practice squad last year so they do not count as new to the organization).
Last 4 on
OT Willie Smith—I think he could stick as a backup tackle because of his experience. But his performance against the Lions has him pressed up against the bubble.
TE Je’Ron Hamm—With Paul and Paulsen both out he has a job for now. But he easily could be knocked off if the team sees another possible solution on the waiver wire.
TE Chase Dixon—See Hamm from above.
LB Houston Bates—Having a solid preseason game is one thing. Consistently doing what you need to do to make an NFL team is another. He can’t relax for a second and even if he manages not to someone could still bypass him.
Four more close to the bubble: OL Tom Compton, DL Kedric Golston, Trenton Robinson, DL Frank Kearse
Last 4 cuts
OL Josh LeRibeus—He has been working as the backup center but against the Texans in the joint practices and in the preseason opener against the Browns he showed that he has a long way to go. The team won’t take long to seek another solution if he doesn’t catch on soon.
WR Rashad Ross—He can play some as he showed in the last two preseason games. But the numbers at wide receiver just don’t work for him. They are unlikely to keep more than six and I can’t see Ross beating out any of the guys who are in.
OT Takoby Cofield—The team paid him the maximum signing bonus for an undrafted free agent so they thought highly of him coming out of Duke. He has had a good camp and if he has a good preseason Cofield could make a case for a spot on the 53. For now, he appears to be practice squad material.
RB Trey Williams—The diminutive back had some problems navigating against the big bodies in live action in Cleveland but he broke off a long run against the Lions and led the team in rushing for 52 yards on 10 carries. If he can get it figured out in a hurry some more long runs in the last two preseason games could make the team have to think real hard about keeping him around.
Four more just on the wrong side of the bubble: OL Austin Reiter, S Akeem Davis, LB Alonzo Highsmith, OL Tyler Larsen