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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Ivan Lambert

Changes are coming for Commanders as they face the Eagles

Changes are coming for the Commanders this Sunday, but are some of them too late?

Cody Barton’s high ankle sprain has resulted in the linebacker being ruled out for Sunday. Khaleke Hudson and David Mayo picked up extra snaps last week vs. the New York Giants. Hudson also made some nice plays two weeks ago against the Falcons.

Word from Ashburn Friday was that LB Jabril Cox is going to be elevated from the practice squad by Sunday.

LG Saahdiq Charles reinjured his left calf, which was slowing him during preseason. He has been listed as “out” for Sunday. This most likely means the Commanders may make LG Chris Paul active for the first time this season.

Also, on offense, Tyler Larsen was snapping to Sam Howell in the early portion of practice on Thursday. If the Commanders start Larsen at center over Nick Gates, it could mean they intend to use Gates at guard if needed as well.

There has been no word on right tackle Andrew Wylie possibly being rested some snaps for Cornelius Lucas. Perhaps if they alternated the two, Wylie would perform better when not as fatigued?

DT Phidarian Mathis (calf) has returned this week to practice. The Commanders have not yet officially restated Mathis’ status. Also, WR Curtis Samuel has been nursing a sore knee this week. There has yet to be any indication that Samuel could miss Sunday.

Then one can’t help but wonder if there will be changes in the Eric Bieniemy offense. Last week, the offense could not adjust to the defensive slants and stunts of the NY Giants defense.

Some of the All-22 tape was quite revealing, seeing communication breakdowns among the offensive linemen. Sam Howell will need better protection Sunday vs. the Eagles and will need to pick up on his early reads and deliver the ball.

Bieniemy continued last week, calling for more dropbacks yet moving the pocket very little. There is little doubt the running backs and tight ends need to do a better job of helping the offensive linemen, providing Howell that extra second to deliver the ball.

It’s up to Bieniemy and the lineman to make the adjustments necessary, and it’s up to Howell, if given that extra second, to read, react and deliver the ball.

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