Wide receiver Rashad Ross doesn’t know if he will end up on the Redskins’ 53-man roster but he isn’t going to spend a lot of time worrying about it.
“It’s really not that nerve racking to be because, at the end of the day, I gave it my all,” he said after catching 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Redskins’ preseason game against the Jaguars. “Whatever happens, happens so I’ll just leave that up to God.”
Ross turned 25 earlier this year. He has been cut by the Titans, Chiefs, Redskins (twice), and Bears (twice). He realized that his time to latch on to an NFL roster is running out. He worked with DeSean Jackson and his trainer earlier this offseason to try to give himself the best chance to make it.
“Being cut, just sitting at home wondering why me, all the time,” he said. “So I just looked at the mirror and it can’t be nobody else, more than one team cut me, it’s got to be me. At the end of the day I was like, I need to change, inside.”
Ross said that he is more familiar with the offense this year than he was in 2014, when the Redskins released him in the early round of cuts in August. He should be after spending most of last year on the practice squad and getting in a full offseason of work with the team in 2015.
But he realizes that it will take more than just his ability on offense to make the team. If that was the case, he might be a roster lock after leading the team in the preseason with 25 receptions for 266 yards and four touchdowns. He knows that he has to do more.
“The work in the return game, that’s something else I can do,” he said. “I’m not the star receiver, I’m not the No. 1 or No. 2, I’m at the bottom of the list so special teams is really big for a guy in my position. I’ve got to work on things like that, that’s something I have to do. So that’s really big.”
Will his work in the return game be enough? Jay Gruden said that Ross “might be our best kick returner”, but he also noted that the team has wide receivers Andre Roberts and Jamison Crowder to handle those duties. It appears that the last wide receiver spot will come down to Ross and Evan Spencer, who missed last night’s game with a concussion.
“We’d like to have our fifth receiver be a special team demon, like somebody who can run down on kicks,” said Gruden. That description fits Spencer more than it fits Ross.
Perhaps Gruden tipped his hand but there will be more film review and discussion before a decision is made. Ross is optimistic about his chances but cautious.
“I’m very confident but we’ll see what happens,” he said.
The final roster is due at 4 p.m. on Saturday. We will see then.