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Bryan Manning and Ivan Lambert

Commanders 53-man roster projection: Final edition before Tuesday’s cuts

On Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET, all 32 NFL teams must trim their rosters from 90 to 53 players. The preseason is over and 1,184 players will either hit waivers or free agency before Tuesday’s deadline.

The biggest thing to remember about the deadline is this is only each team’s initial 53-man roster. Many players will be claimed on waivers, so some of those bubble players who made the roster, aren’t able to breathe a sigh of relief until the waiver process ends.

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For the Washington Commanders, head coach Ron Rivera said there were likely six or seven roster spots still being debated. So, how much will Saturday’s preseason finale play a role in the Commanders’ decision-making?

Through each week of the preseason, we’ve given our 53-man roster projection. Now, it’s time for our final roster projection. For this projection, both of our staff writers — Bryan Manning and Ivan Lambert — have each given their final 53-man roster projection.


Washington Commanders quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett (12) and Sam Howell (14). (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Bryan: (2) Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett

As impressive as Jake Fromm was in the preseason, the Commanders should be able to stash him on the practice squad and activate him if necessary.

Ivan: (2) Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett

Every team may have a quarterback they want to keep in the building, developing him on the practice squad, and Jake Fromm is Washington’s.

Running back

Washington Commanders running backs Brian Robinson (8) and Antonio Gibson (24). Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan: (4) Antonio Gibson, Brian Robinson Jr., Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Alex Armah

The top three are easy. Armah, well, we will put an asterisk by his name because he can also serve as Washington’s fourth tight end. His versatility earned him a spot. He is a fullback by trade who can work at two positions. As we’ve heard Rivera say so often, position flex matters.

Ivan: (3) Antonio Gibson, Brian Robinson Jr., Chris Rodriguez Jr.

Washington will keep one or two on the practice squad, perhaps Jonathan Williams and Jaret Patterson.


Wide receiver

Jahan Dotson #1 of the Washington Commanders celebrates scoring a 26-yard touchdown. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Bryan: (6) Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Byron Pringle and Kazmeir Allen

Allen was a popular pick before Saturday’s game, but after two drops and a muffed punt, we wonder how that impacts his status. I am going to stick with Allen because of his upside over Dax Milne. Washington can probably get Milne and Mitchell Tinsley to the practice squad. If there is an issue with injuries, Washington can call them up from the practice squad. Allen has work to do, but his upside as a punt returner is tantalizing.

Ivan: (6) Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Byron Pringle, Marcus Kemp

Kazmeir Allen muffed a punt, and Dax Milne at least catches the punts. Washington may keep two receivers on the practice squad. If they keep 7, Mitchell Tinsley may be the best long-term investment.

Tight end

Cole Turner #85 of the Washington Commanders is tackled by Rodney McLeod #26. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Bryan: (3) Logan Thomas, Cole Turner and John Bates

I was tempted to give Brandon Dillon a spot, but he hasn’t proven enough. Plus, he’s a candidate for the practice squad. Curtis Hodges had a golden opportunity but proved to be too inconsistent. The Commanders need four tight ends due to Thomas’ health. That’s why Armah makes the roster.

Ivan: (4) Logan Thomas, John Bates, Cole Turner, Alex Armah

Curtis Hodges did not impress as expected. Does Logan Thomas open the season on IR?

Offensive line

Washington Commanders offensive tackle Sam Cosmi (76) and others.

Bryan: (10) Charles Leno Jr., Saahdiq Charles, Nick Gates, Sam Cosmi, Andrew Wylie, Cornelius Lucas, Ricky Stromberg, Tyler Larsen, Chris Paul and Braeden Daniels

The Commanders should keep 10 offensive linemen. For one, injuries have been an issue. Secondly, there are questions about Washington’s tackles. Lucas is the only reserve tackle we have making the roster. The good news is Cosmi and Charles also have tackle experience if needed. The final spot came down to Larsen and tackle Trent Scott. Washington’s injury issues at center the past two seasons give the nod to Larsen, who the team loves.

Ivan: (10) Andrew Wylie, Charles Leno, Sam Cosmi, Saahdiq Charles, Chris Paul, Nick Gates, Ricky Stromberg, Cornelius Lucas, Tyler Larsen, Braeden Daniels

They will keep at least two on the practice squad: perhaps Nolan Laufenberg or Mason Brooks?

Defensive line

Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne, left, and defensive tackle Jonathan Allen. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Bryan: (11) Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Casey Toohill, Phidarian Mathis, John Ridgeway, James Smith-Williams, Efe Obada, K.J. Henry and Andre Jones Jr.

I admit, I found it hard to see Washington keeping more than 10 defensive linemen. This is the deepest unit on the team. However, I do not see Rivera cutting a draft pick (Henry), while the other draft pick (Jones) was more impressive this summer. It’s not that Henry was bad; he wasn’t. Jones was just better. The other veterans (Toohill, Smith-Williams and Obada) are too valuable.

Ivan: (10) Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, John Ridgeway, James Smith-Williams, Casey Toohill, Efe Obada, Andre Jones, Phidarian Mathis

Mathis could be on IR for four weeks, in which case KJ Henry could be on the opening roster.


Cincinnati Bengals running back Chase Brown (30) is tackled by Washington Commanders linebacker Khaleke Hudson (47). Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan: (4) Jamin Davis, Cody Barton, Khaleke Hudson and David Mayo

We haven’t changed this in any of our projections. Due to the versatility of Washington’s safeties, we don’t see any surprise additions here.

Ivan: (4) Jamin Davis, Cody Barton, Khaleke Hudson and David Mayo

Milo Eifler is right there if they keep 5.


Washington Commanders safety Jartavius Martin (20). Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan: (6) Kendall Fuller, Benjamin St-Juste, Emmanuel Forbes, Quan Martin, Danny Johnson and Christian Holmes

Again, no changes here. Holmes makes it for his terrific work on special teams. Johnson is also good on special teams and can play inside or outside cornerback. Martin, the rookie, is being asked to learn multiple positions. Fuller, St-Juste and Forbes are the top three and have the potential to be a very good group.

Ivan: (7) Benjamin St Juste, Kendall Fuller, Emmanuel Forbes, Danny Johnson, Christian Holmes, Jartavius Martin, Tariq Castro-Fields

Castro-Fields’ combination of size and speed earns him a spot.


Percy Butler #35 of the Washington Commanders. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Bryan: (4) Kamren Curl, Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler and Jeremy Reaves

An outstanding group that is young and versatile. Butler will have an increased role this season. Forrest was last season’s breakout player, while Curl is the star. Reaves is good on defense and outstanding on special teams. Just a solid group.

Ivan: (4) Kamren Curl, Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler and Jeremy Reaves

Washington will no doubt keep a couple of defensive backs and have them ready to move up to the roster in the case of injuries.


Punter Tress Way #5 of the Washington Commanders celebrates with kicker Joey Slye #6. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Bryan: (3) Kicker Joey Slye, punter Tress Way and long snapper Camaron Cheeseman

Again, no changes here. I admit there are some concerns about some of Cheeseman’s snaps this summer.

Ivan: (3) Kicker Joey Slye, punter Tress Way and long snapper Camaron Cheeseman

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