The Washington Commanders released their initial 53-man roster on Tuesday, and head coach Ron Rivera answered questions on the team's decisions. Here is a look at what he said during his press conference.
On RB Brian Robinson Jr.:
"What the 53 does for us is it gives us a little bit of time. He's going to be re-examined by the doctors. They'll continue to look at him. What we are looking for is that we are looking for a timeline. Anything close to a certain situation, we will do one thing. Close to another situation, we will do something else. That was the whole idea of having him on the 53."
On if he got any more clarity on the extent of his injuries:
"The biggest thing is more so than anything else is the reports that it didn't hit anything and didn't do any structural damage for the most part is true to a degree. Now it's a matter of how he works through his rehab program. That is still to be determined. He will be examined by the doctor today, probably tomorrow as well and continued into the future. Again, they have no timeline right now. This is a very unfortunate and very unique situation. As we go through, we will be able to tell what our timeline will be."
On if there is anything specific or clarifying as to what happened:
"Other than he was wounded, no."
On the prioritization of the offense:
"I think again, what that does is it gives us an opportunity to work on our roster. We have some guys that we have to look at and evaluate and then go from there as far as health is concerned. That will help us as far as what that total unit will look like come gameday a week from Sunday."
The Washington Commanders have released their initial 53-man roster for the 2022 season. Here are all the players who made the cut. (Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders)
On cutting CB's Corn Elder and Danny Johnson:
"As we go through this, we are not done."
On how much Saturday went into it:
"No, like I said, guys, we are not done yet. To give you any insider information on that, that wouldn't be fair to them."
On how much he anticipates making more moves:
"We have time. That's all I'll say. We have time. We have some things that we have to work through as far as I talked about. Just getting the evaluations."
On if there is someone that surprised him that stuck on the roster:
"I think there are a couple of young guys that really stepped up. [CB] Christian Holmes is one of the guys that comes to mind right away when you get the late-round picks, a lot of the time you try and slide them by and get them on practice squad. He had a really strong camp, he really did. He did a lot of good things and showed his worth very quickly. I think he is a guy that I'm not going to necessarily say surprised, but a guy that worked, to answer the question, he did work himself on to the roster. That was really good to see. I think when you look at the tight end position, we kept five for a reason. We like all five. We think there is a place for those guys. That is also a position that we are still working through the roster for clarification as far as guys statuses."
On if there were guys that impressed on special teams that made their way on:
"I'll tell you guys a guy that really did a nice job and really came through was [DE] Shaka Toney. He had a really strong finish to camp. He really did some good things working on special teams. Still has a ways to go and some things to learn, but just his effort overall was really terrific. It was exciting to watch him really progress and step up."
The Washington Commanders held their first practice after making final roster cuts. Here are some of the top photos from the afternoon. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders
On how the Robinson Jr. situation impacted the RB Jonathan Williams situation:
"It did impact it, obviously, but Jonathan had a really good camp. He is another guy that you sit there and say, wow this guy has progressed, learned and gotten better. That's what he has done. He has gotten better and better with his opportunities. Keeping him was really something that turned out to be a plus for us."
On keeping WR Dax Milne and if he will return punts:
"Keeping Dax, and I'll say he's one of the six, he had a very good camp. He played very well in every game. He will return punts. We are going to take a look at it as he continues to work on some of the kickoff stuff as well."
On if RB Antonio Gibson will return kicks:
"Antonio is still in consideration to go back there. We will look at Dax and a couple of other guys as far as that position is concerned."
On LB Milo Eifler:
"I think when you look at the way Milo played, Milo had a really, really strong camp. He showed great progress and development. His speed really stood out amongst the linebackers. He runs well. He runs like [LB] Jamin [Davis]. He runs like [LB] Cole [Holcomb]. I think Milo just earned that spot. He did some really good things on special teams. I think he's a guy that once you get a chance to watch him and watch him on tape, you see him progress."
On the defense and if it is a reflection of how they viewed the depth:
"I think that is a reflection of still massaging the roster."
The rookie RB from Alabama returned to the team facility on Tuesday to meet with team doctors after being shot multiple times in an attempted robbery on Sunday, August 28. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)
On Robinson's situation impacting the roster:
"Brian's situation did expedite that a little bit. It is something that we have to look at and consider. We are going to continue to monitor what the doctors need to tell us and see where they are."
On the offensive line:
"We would've loved to keep 10, but with the improved play at the tight end group, it pushed us to keep nine just because of the five tight ends."
On the expanded practice squad:
"It influences all of your roster when you look at it. If there are a couple of guys that aren't really heralded and not many people know about, you can sneak them through and put them on your practice squad and be able to elevate them if you need them. That is a big bonus. We had a young man last year, [LB] Jared Norris. He was a special team's guy that we could elevate when we needed. He really did a good job for us and eventually he ended up on the 53 until he got hurt and went to IR."
On if this year was tougher than past years:
"I think this was just based on the battles we had. The cornerback position was not easy. The running back position was not necessarily easy. The plethora of tight ends kind of created some of the situations that we had to deal with."
The Commanders opened up suites at FedExField in August so Gold Members could host their own fantasy football draft alongside fellow fans.
On his approach the next few days:
"If you're going to replace a guy, that guy better be ready to be plugged and played. It's not just about oh he's a tremendous talent, but are they doing the things that you're doing. Are they running the same style of running plays? Are they running the same style defense? Sometimes you may get excited about someone and all of a sudden that's not a fit. You have to be careful and be smart about it because you may be letting a guy go that fits you better. He may not be a better athlete than the person you want to claim, but he has to fit you as well."
On S Jeremy Reaves:
"He earned it and I'm very proud of him. I told him I said, just so you know, I'm very proud of the fact that you made this team. We were sitting down and all of these coaches felt that this guy came, played, did the things that he needed to do, showed us what he is capable of. He is a guy that earned his spot. I'm very proud of him."
On RB Jaret Patterson:
"Yeah, as we look at the roster, we have three quality backs, counting Brian right now. As we looked at it, we also felt that Jonathan had a good camp as well. You can look at him and Jaret and see that they're pretty equal, but their skillsets are different. When you look at it, Jonathan has a very similar style to Brian and that is what we are looking for right now.