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3 players to watch during Washington's preseason finale


The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team.

The Washington Commanders are getting ready for their third preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, which will be the final opportunity for some players to make their case for a roster spot. Here are three players you should keep an eye on during Saturday's game.

Armani Rogers 

The Commanders' tight end position took several hits during training camp with their top options -- Logan Thomas, John Bates and Cole Turner -- all missing time. That has left players like Armani Rogers to fill the void until they recover, and the quarterback-turned-tight end has a strong shot to make the roster. 

Rogers, who played quarterback for UNLV and Ohio until switching to tight end during the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl, has taken several strides in recent weeks as he has learned the position. He has shown a natural ability as a pass-catcher, improved as a blocker and developed a solid connection with Carson Wentz, and his production has caught the attention of Thomas, who said he is "super proud" of him for "taking the weight of the thing the last two weeks, and he has done a really good job, especially [as] a guy who hasn't played the position before." 

Rogers has four catches for 27 yards in the preseason, including a 15-yard grab against the Kansas City Chiefs. He should get more opportunities against the Ravens, and another strong performance could give him a firm hold on a roster spot.

Jeremy Reaves 

Jeremy Reaves had a tough season in 2021. Not only did he get cut and sent to the practice squad after playing an impactful role for Washington in 2020, but his mother also passed away. 

"My mom was my biggest fan," Reaves said. "She was always telling me, just be sure of myself…don't try to do too much, do what you know you're capable of. So, I've kind of just took that approach. It's a sense of calm. I'm not out there panicking; I'm not out there seeing too much." 

Reaves has been more confident heading into his fifth season with the team, and it has shown up on the field. He is playing with more conviction and assuredness in the system. That goes all the way back to the first day of OTAs when things started to click for him. In the previous two preseason games, Reaves has led the team with nine tackles and a quarterback hit. 

Reaves has never made the initial 53-man roster since he first joined the team in 2018. A standout performance during Saturday's game could secure what would be an emotional moment for the safety.

Dax Milne 

There have been few, if any surprises at wide receiver for the Commanders this year. With Terry McLaurin leading a group that includes Jahan Dotson, Dyami Brown and Curtis Samuel, the only speculation has been which players will claim the spots at the bottom of the position for their own. 

Enter Dax Milne, who made the roster in 2021 as a seventh-round pick and has been making the case to do so again in Year 2. Milne has rarely dropped a pass in practice, and he has earned reps with the starting offense because of his reliability. He has mostly been lined up as a slot receiver, but he occasionally has seen some reps as an outside threat. Rivera had some praise for Milne earlier this week, saying that the former BYU wideout "has played very well in both preseason games and has flashed in a lot of ways and has gotten our attention." 

"Very consistent player, good route runner, very headsy guy that understands certain things about what we do and how we do it." 

The other plus to Milne is that he has experience as a return specialist. He has only had the opportunity to return two punts, but they resulted in 21 yards. At the most, there are two receiver positions available, and the combination of his route running as well as his special teams resume could be enough for him to secure a spot.

The Washington Commanders have wrapped up their week of practice before their preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. Check out the top photos from the day. Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders

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