The Washington Redskins travel north up 95 to take on the Baltimore Ravens in their fourth and final preseason game. As usual the starters will not play however the game is vital for those who are trying to make the 53 man roster or the practice squad. Here are some of those battles to watch for tonight.
Running Back- Chris Thompson’s spot on the team is secure and won’t play tonight. After that it is anybody’s guess. Adrian Peterson looks the to be the next pretty secure running back and should not see any action tonight, he proved himself quite well last week. Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine are fighting for the next spot as both of their styles are similar. And Bryon Marshall and Kapri Bibbs are fighting for the backup to Chris Thompson. Marshall and Bibbs also play most special teams and are better receivers out of the back field than Perine and Kelley. Also wild card De’Von Smith will have a chance as well. This is the biggest battle on the roster at the moment.
Wide Receiver- The top four receiver spots seem to be locked in stone with Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, and Maurice Harris, none of which I expect to play tonight. Trey Quinn seems to be the next safest on the roster and might get a few series of work. That leaves the sixth spot and the battle between Brian Quick and Cam Sims. Quick has more experience and is the more finished product, while Cam Sims has more potential and upside. Before camp the thinking was Sims and Simmie Cobbs were heading to the practice squad for more work. However the ability shown by Sims may force the Redskins hand in keeping him on the roster to not lose him. That would kick Quick off the roster. Cobbs and Darvin Kidsy are fighting for that spot as well but are most likely practice squad candidates.
Linebacker- The starting four of Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Mason Foster, and Zach Brown are solid and wont play tonight. The primary backups to those guys are Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee, Zach Vigil, and Shaun Dion-Hamilton are pretty much on the roster and I expect all of these guys to play some tonight. Josh Harvey-Clemons is pretty set in stone as the dime linebacker who will sub in on passing downs. That’s nine linebackers already. Martrell Spaight and Pete Robertson are fighting for the tenth spot, if the club decides to keep ten. Spaight has performed well this camp and has shown the ability to play mike backer to call the defense. Robertson has shown a consistent rush off the edge and has been good against the run. There will be a tough cut or two coming in this group.
Although this isn’t really a battle but the younger cornerbacks will be something to watch. Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson and Adonnis Alexander are the corps of the future. Kevin Hogan will play most of the snaps so he is playing for a practice squad spot.