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Practice notes | Commanders want to help McLaurin get fourth 1,000-yard season

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Terry McLaurin is on the cusp of achieving a personal and franchise milestone, and his teammates are determined to help him get there.

McLaurin (946) needs just 54 yards against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to get 1,000 yards for the fourth consecutive season. Mclaurin, who was drafted by the team in 2019, has already cemented himself as one of the best wideouts in franchise history -- he needs just seven yards to move past Hugh Taylor for eighth in all-time receiving yards -- but getting another 1,000-yard season would put him in a class of his own. No Washington receiver has ever recorded four straight in the team's 91 years of existence.

You won't hear McLaurin boasting about accolades, especially in a losing season, but the team wants to see him do it.

"When guys have certain goals like that and certain things they can accomplish, you want to help them do that," said quarterback **Sam Howell.** "Terry's...a tremendous player, but he's an even better person. Such a great teammate, been so good to me throughout my career here."

Regardless of who has thrown to McLaurin over the years, he's made a habit of being reliable. He is the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 900 receiving yards in each of his first five seasons, joining D.K. Metcalf, Mike Evans, A.J. Green, Randy Moss and Jerry Rice.

This year, however, McLaurin's numbers have been down, mostly because the offense as a whole has struggled. Up until Week 12, it looked like it would be a stretch for McLaurin to achieve the feat, and after recording zero yards for just the second time in his career against the Miami Dolphins, the odds plummeted even further.

But over the last three games, McLaurin's production has risen rapidly. He had six catches of 141 yards -- a career high and currently his own 100-yard game of the season -- and a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams. Two weeks later against the San Francisco 49ers, he grabbed a 42-yard pass from Howell and scored his fourth touchdown of the season.

From Weeks 15-17, McLaurin has 252 yards on 13 receptions -- numbers that are much closer to what we have come to expect from McLaurin.

"I think that's the biggest thing is just shows his reliability," head coach Ron Rivera said when asked about the possibility of McLaurin getting 1,000 yards. "Just the fact that he's always there. He's always present and he is a guy that works at it. So, it is a good earmark for him if we can get that done."

Howell's connection with McLaurin on the field has been a work in progress, but the young quarterback knows how valuable a player like McLaurin can be for him. He prides himself on running crisp routes, and he pairs that with being one of the best contested catchers since he joined the NFL.

"I think when you're good at all those things, it sets you up for success," Howell said. "He works so hard, he's one of the hardest working guys we have on this team, and it shows out there on the field."

That doesn't necessarily mean the Commanders are going to look McLaurin's way more often than usual. As Howell said, "the game's going to go how it's going to go," so if the game dictates that the ball needs to go away from McLaurin, that's what they'll do to win.

Still, the team is aware of how close McLaurin is to hitting 1,000 yards, and Eric Bieniemy had a message for him this week.

"Hey man, listen, we're 54 yards away," Bieniemy told McLaurin. "You got to make it happen."

And Howell wants to make sure he does what he can to help McLaurin make it happen.

I can't say enough good things about Terry," Howell said. "We definitely want to try to get him there, for sure."

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