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Practice notes, 8/24 | Del Rio impressed with Quan Martin's progress

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The Washington Commanders wrapped up their final practice of the week before taking on the Cincinnati Bengals at FedExField to wrap up the preseason. Let's check out some of the top observations from the last full practice available to the media. 

-- As always, we'll get things started off with some injury news. Nothing has changed with Terry McLaurin, who is dealing with a toe sprain. Logan Thomas and Phidarian Mathis are progressing well with their respective injuries, but Thomas was at practice participating in individual drills. Dax Milne is dealing with a groin injury and will be monitored going forward. Milne was at practice, however, and participated in team drills. 

-- Kendall Fuller, who has missed practice with knee soreness, is progressing well and is on track to return to practice at some point before the season begins.

-- Next will be the culmination of a difficult but important process for the Commanders: trimming the roster down from 90 players to 53. The decision will have several layers, starting with the coaches discussing every player currently on the roster and what they can add to the team. After that, Rivera and the coordinators will sit down with Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney to get their perspective, and then they will give a number of players they want at each position. 

"What usually happens is you usually start with a high number on each position and whittle it down," Rivera said. "As an example, and this is not the number, but let's say you start with offensive line and you say we got 14 guys that should make it. Then, you sit there and go, 'This guy...maybe not, but is he practice squad eligible, or is he a good candidate for it?' Then, we'll move those guys...into this practice squad spot, and then we'll go to the next position."

-- The final preseason game is often not as exciting for fans. Most, if not all the starters are not on the field, and the lineups are filled with players they have either never heard of before or won't be on the roster for Week 1. It's a pivotal moment for the players on the roster bubble, though, because it's their last chance to make the roster before final decisions are made by the coaches.

"This game is very important to that group of young men that are competing for that last opportunity," Rivera said. "They're gonna live and die with the results, because for a lot of them, it will be indicative of helping sway our decision making one way or the other."

-- Rivera had some high praise for rookie Ricky Stromberg, who has switched from center to guard in the last couple weeks. That position flexibility has "really cleaned up a lot of our decision making," Rivera said.

"He's as good as advertised as far as we're concerned," Rivera said. "So, we feel comfortable about him."

-- Jack Del Rio addressed the media after practice as well and started his press conference by assessing Jamin Davis. He's been solid, Del Rio said, but he has been trying to catch up on the work he missed during OTAs because of his surgery. He's still managed to put in good work, though, and Del Rio wants to see him stay urgent on every down.

-- Del Rio also had some high praise for Emmanuel Forbes Jr.

"I think he's doing just that coming along, working, getting comfortable within the scheme and things we're asking him to do and communicating with his teammates."

-- Quan Martin has had a lot of information thrown at him since joining the Commanders, and the fans have noticed some of his mistakes. Del Rio, however, sounded encouraged when talking about Martin during his press conference. He said Martin has been "outstanding," and while there have been some mistakes, he's handled the information thrown at him in stride.

"I like the way he approaches things. He's a good young man that works hard, cares a lot, and he's being exposed to a lot. He's had a couple mishaps, but he's doing a good job growing in the system."

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