The Washington Redskins will open their preseason Thursday, August 9, at 7:30 against the New England Patriots. While most of the opening day starting lineup is already known, the team does have some positions where things are currently up in the air. Let’s take a look at the top Redskins position battles heading into preseason.
Top Redskins position battles
While the Redskins most significant move of the 2018 offseason was to trade with the Kansas City Chiefs to acquire Alex Smith, the team also added other players that will compete for roster spots in the coming weeks. Below is a look at the top Redskins position battles.
- Runningback – (Derrius Guice, Robert Kelley, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Kapri Bibbs, Byron Marshall, and Martez Carter) – The Redskins will enter the preseason with one of the deepest backfields in the entire NFL. The team will have to decide how many backs they want to keep first (likely four), then which backs second. Second-round pick Derrius Guice and third-down back Chris Thompson are the only apparent locks so far. Reports out of camp have pointed out that every back the Redskins have has been trying to make the most out of every carry, knowing they have someone breathing down their necks on the depth chart. It would appear that Kapri Bibbs has the inside track on becoming the team’s return man in 2018, leaving Robert Kelley, Samaje Perine, Byron Marshall, and Martex Carter all vying for what appears to be one roster spot. It should be interesting to see how this battle develops, considering Kelley was the team’s starter heading into 2017, and Perine was a fourth-round pick last season.
- Cornerback – (Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Orlando Scandrick, Fabian Moreau, Joshua Holsey, Prince Charles Iworah, Adonis Alexander, Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, and Ranthony Texada) – This position may contain less drama, but it still includes a position battle worth listing here. As of now, Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar will start on the outside, with Orlando Scandrick in the slot. The possible roster battle is for the slot position, with Scandrick, Fabian Moreau, Greg Stroman, and Joshua Holsey (once he returns off the PUP list) battling it out. The Redskins will likely keep either five or six corners this season, leaving Adonis Alexander, Stroman, Holsey, Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, Prince Iworah, and Ranthony Texada all battling for one or two roster spots.
- Wide Receiver – (Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson Jr., Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Simmie Cobbs Jr., Shay Fields, Darvin Kidsy, Brian Quick, Trey Quinn, and Cam Sims) – This position contains three roster locks we know of right now in Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder. That leaves eight receivers competing for a possible two or three available spots. Maurice Harris appears to have a slight advantage at the moment, with Robert Davis and Trey Quinn also having a good start to training camp.
- Defensive Tackle – (Daron Payne, Phil Taylor Sr., Tim Settle, and Ondre Pipkins) – Daron Payne and Tim Settle are the future at nose tackle for the Washington Redskins, but if Phil Taylor stays healthy, he could make a solid push to be the team’s starter in the middle of the d-line on three-man fronts. When the team shifts out to a four-man front, Payne and defensive end Jonathan Allen will likely be the two inside defensive linemen. The addition of Payne allowed the team to shift Ziggy Hood out to the end, probably extending his career (as a backup). While Payne suffered an ankle injury last week and is currently listed as out for the next two-to-three weeks, the team isn’t worried. “He’s big, strong, physical,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. “He’ll probably get stronger in his two weeks working out. He’s in great shape, so it’s not a big deal. He’s already very smart, knows the defense, so he’s in great shape.”
The work doesn't stop just because practice does. pic.twitter.com/Hrbswzqjle
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