Multiple key players have been ruled out for the Washington Commanders' 2023 season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.
Jonathan Allen (knee), Kendall Fuller (knee), Tariq Castro-Fields (Shoulder) and Christian Holmes (Concussion) all did not practice this week and have played their last game this season. Castro-Fields, Fuller and Holmes have all been placed on Injured Reserve.
Abdullah Anderson and Benning Potoa'e have been signed from the practice squad in corresponding moves.
Jacoby Brissett (hamstring), Quan Martin (chest), John Ridgeway (foot), Curtis Samuel (hamstring) and Benjamin St-Juste (concussion) were listed on the injury report but increased their workload throughout the week and will be ready for Sunday's home matchup against Dallas.
Andrew Wylie (elbow), Casey Toohill (shoulder) and Kamren Curl (quad) are questionable.
The lack of starters and key players available for Week 18 means that several of the team's younger contributors will get more snaps to show that they can be part of the future. On the defensive line, that will be second-year defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis, who has dealt with various injuries in his career that have limited his time on the field. Mathis, a second-round pick in 2022, has played in seven games and recorded eight tackles and a fumble recovery.
Injuries to Fuller, Castro-Fields, Curl and Holmes are troublesome for a secondary that was already thin. Curl has been one of the Commanders' most reliable defensive players, leading the team with 115 tackles and playing in all 16 games. Fuller has been the Commanders highest graded defender, according to Pro Football Focus, with an 83.1 and 65 tackles in 15 games.
St-Juste, who was ruled out last week, will be back to provide some stability at cornerback. St-Juste leads the team with 17 pass breakups and is sixth on the team with 63 tackles. Emmanuel Forbes Jr., who appeared in 99% of the defensive snaps, should also get more of a role in the season finale to show how much he has developed. Forbes has looked much better since being benched, allowing 181 yards from Weeks 8-17, which is a noticeable improvement from 401 yards he allowed in the first half of the season.