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2023 training camp preview | Tight ends


The Washington Commanders are inching closer to the start of training camp and a critical year for the franchise. 

We're about a month away from the players and reporting to Ashburn after taking some time off. There were high expectations for the team in 2022, and while there were some positives, including a 6-1 stretch to get in playoff contention, it fell short of its goal with an 8-8-1 record. Now, with a new quarterback and offensive coordinator leading the offense, the expectations have continued to rise all offseason. will be breaking down each position and how they've changed in the past year. Next up are the tight ends. 


  • Armani Rogers (Injury)


  • N/A

Key storylines

-- Logan Thomas is healthy once again: Logan Thomas has been forced to play catch up over the past two seasons because of multiple injuries. The torn ACL he had in 2021 was bad enough, but then a calf injury also ruled him out for Weeks 5-7 after he worked so hard to be ready for Week 1 last year.

Thomas showed no signs of ailment this offseason, and he was used often in the Commanders' passing attack.

"It gives me a leg up compared to where I was last year," Thomas said. "Got a little bit of my explosiveness back. I'm able to launch a little better than I was. I'm excited just to be out here working with the guys getting better and learning a new offense."

Eric Bieniemy said that the Commanders were going to have a tight end-friendly offense this year, and Thomas received plenty of targets from Sam Howell in practice. The two seemed to form a solid connection during team drills, as he was one of the first players Howell would look for when plays broke down.

And most of the time, Thomas rewarded that by fighting through traffic to make several contested catches.

"Just being able to go out there and make cuts that I wasn't exactly comfortable making last year and making them completely normal this year," Thomas said.

The Commanders will need more from their tight ends than what they've gotten in previous years, and having Thomas at full strength should help with that.

-- Cole Turner's impact: We didn't see much of Cole Turner last season outside of a few catches because of a tweaked hamstring. What we did see in last year's training camp was exciting, though, and now that he's healthy, Turner is back to turning heads at practice.

"He's one of those guys that's kind of built for an offense like this," Thomas said.

Turner was one of the more impressive offensive players during OTAs. He used his 6-foot-6 frame to haul passes over linebackers and defensive backs. During a 7-on-7 period during OTAs, Howell aired out a 30-yard pass to Turner, who created some separation from Khaleke Hudson near the sideline. On another play, this time working with Jacoby Brissett, Turner stretched out for a pass while backpedaling and got both feet in bounds before completing the pass.

Plays like that have caught the attention of the coaching staff.

"He's had a great spring," said coach Ron Rivera. "He's been here almost the entire offseason on a voluntary basis doing the things that he needs to do and develop."

It is unclear how many snaps Turner will get as likely the third tight end on the roster, but if he can be a valid red zone target, which is what he was drafted for, he could make the offense more potent.

-- Curtis Hodges' development: Like Turner, we never really got to see what Curtis Hodges could be, despite a few flashes in training camp, because he was on Injured Reserve for the entire season. But, like most of the tight end position, Hodges is healthy again, and it's possible he could find a role as the fourth player on the depth chart.

Hodges, an undrafted free agent from Arizona State, was largely viewed as a project last year but showed his potential as a pass-catcher at various points of the offseason.

Like everyone on offense, Hodges has gotten some tough coaching from Bieniemy, but he looks healthy and made some clutch catches in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

And like Turner, Hodges can sense how often tight ends are going to be used in Bieniemy's offense.

"We're catching a lot of balls, running a lot of routes," Hodges said. "That was something to get used to off the first week, but the second week was easier. You noticed it Day 1."

The Commanders kept five tight ends in 2022, and considering how much the position will be used in Bieniemy's offense, it's realistic to believe that Hodges will make the roster. He's not going to be a major contributor; unless someone gets injured, there are simply too many players in front of him. Most of his snaps will be on special teams, but the coaching staff believes he could mature into a more dynamic player in time if he gets the right opportunity.

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