There aren't many wide receivers out there as reliable as Terry McLaurin. The third-year pro has established a reputation as one of the few blue-collar receivers in the league, and it's earned the respect of several defensive backs.
As good as McLaurin has been (he's starting to put together a Pro Bowl-caliber season with 54 catches for 735 yards), he can't be expected to handle the entirety of Washington's passing game by himself.
That's where Adam Humphries has come in, and he's been just just as dependable as his younger teammate in his own way.
"He's huge," said offensive coordinator Scott Turner. "I mean, as that slot receiver, he does a lot of the dirty work inside. The routes are not going to be the big time down the field routes all the time."
Washington has no shortage of offensive weapons acting as Swiss Army knives that can be placed anywhere on the field. Humphries is lumped into that group on some instances, but the seven-year veteran has been almost exclusively used in the slot. In fact, only 14% of his snaps have come while lined up at other spots.
What that has given Washington as well as quarterback Taylor Heinicke is a player who knows how to work in the middle of the field. He’s been viewed as one of the better slot receivers since 2016, and he's backed up those claims with 255 yards, which is second among Washington's receivers, and a catch rate of 71%.
"He just has a great feel of winning versus man coverage, beating leverage, and then also just finding those openings in zone coverage," Turner said. "He's a very smart player and Taylor trusts him. All the quarterbacks do. Taylor trusts him just to be where he's supposed to be and to win."
That trust has been rewarded in some of Washington's most critical moments. He had a third-down grab during the team's 19-play drive that sealed the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then he did the same thing against the Carolina Panthers. With Washington facing a third-and-9 in the final seconds of the first half, Humphries had a 12-yard reception that put the offense at the Panthers' 12-yard line. One play later, McLaurin scored a game-tying touchdown.
"And that's kind of his knack and it's always been in his career," Turner said. "Those situational times, whether it's third down or like in a two-minute drill, that's really where he shows up."
The Washington Football Team continues its week of practice in preparation for MNF vs the Seattle Seahawks. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
Thirteen of Humphries catches have resulted in a first down. That's tied for second on the team behind McLaurin.
With Washington going through multiple receiver lineups over the past three seasons, McLaurin has always been the constant. That's been the case once again, but Humphries has also been a mainstay for Washington this year, as he's one of just three receivers who have appeared in all 10 games on the team.
And while he doesn't see the field as often as McLaurin, there are moments when he's just as valuable.
"It is big to have a guy like that, especially a guy that's going to win in those situations to help move the sticks," Turner said.