4 Commanders in danger of getting cut at training camp

The Washington Commanders brought out the pads for training camp this week and it was a welcome sight for fans.

It was also a welcome sight for the offense, which was thoroughly outplayed by the defense in the first week, which is largely expected the offensive line and receivers weren’t allowed to get physical at the line of scrimmage.

On Thursday, however, the Commanders scaled things back a bit.

Like most teams after the first several practices of the camp, Washington took the pads off and engaged in a walkthrough session. Not a bad idea to let the players refresh and go through some in-game situations before Saturday’s highly-anticipated practice at FedEx Field, where Ron Rivera confirmed hitting will be allowed.

In anticipation of the big weekend at Washington’s home stadium, let’s highlight some players who are in danger of not making it past the first round of cuts (which are rapidly approaching) and could use a strong performance.

4 Commanders in danger of getting cut at training camp

Armani Rogers

Rogers’ inclusion is not an indictment on his camp performance. A quarterback in college at UNLV and Ohio, the 6-foot-5 athlete made the switch to tight end before the draft, debuting there in the East-West Shrine Bowl.

With a 4.58 40, 34-inch vertical and 10-10 broad jump, Rogers has the desired athletic traits for a tight end. That athleticism was on full display last year when he scored a 99-yard rushing touchdown in a game against Buffalowhich was the longest rushing TD by a quarterback in NCAA history.

The only problem is Washington’s tight end room is stacked, even with starter Logan Thomas opening camp on the PUP list and John Bates nursing an injury. In their absence, Cole Turner and fellow UDFA Curtis Hodges have stolen the show, putting Rogers firmly on the outskirts of the roster nearly two weeks in.

If the newly-minted tight end does get cut, he’d be a worthwhile addition to the Commanders’ practice squad.

Marken Michel

Like Rogers, Michel’s inclusion isn’t an indictment on his talent. The brother of veteran running back Sony Michel, the 29-year-old receiver was one of Washington’s standout performers during OTAs and mandatory minicamp. Unfortunately, though, he’s had a case of the drops at camp and hasn’t seen a big target share.

Michel admittedly has made some nice grabsbut it’s tough to envision him making the Commanders’ roster at this juncture.

For the first time in years, the receiver room has legitimate depth with Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Cam Sims and Dyami Brown. With another spot likely reserved for the team’s return specialist (either Dax Milne or Alex Erickson), Michel will seemingly have to pull an upset for the ages to make the team.

Signed to a reserve/futures contract in January, it’s not hyperbolic to say Michel is behind Kelvin Harmon and UDFA Jequez Ezzard on the depth chart.

Corn Elder/Sammis Reyes

You might be shocked that Elder made the cut (no pun intended) after his roaring start to training camp. However, the former Ron Rivera draft pick in Carolina has since come back down to earth and is firmly fighting for his job.

Elder could always be kept for special teams purposes — he played 43 percent of the ST snaps last year — but right now the favorites to make the team are Kendall Fuller, William Jackson III, Benjamin St-Juste, Danny Johnson and seventh-round pick Christian Holmes, who impressed coaches with his physicality.

Reyes, meanwhile, could fall victim to the team’s deep tight end room. Like Rogers, Reyes is currently lagging behind Thomas, Bates, Turner, Hodges and possibly even Rogers to make the 53-man roster. New to the game, Reyes, a native of Chile, is still learning the ins and outs of the tight end position.

A mountain of a man at 6-foot-6 and 260 with muscles on top of muscles, Reyes’ potential is too intriguing for Washington to part with him altogether. Like Rogers, look for Reyes to be on the practice squad to open the campaign.

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