Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas will be questionable for the team's Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team' public relations official confirmed ahead of Ron Rivera’s Friday press conference.
The decision marks significant progress in a comeback for Thomas, who tore his ACL during Washington's matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. Thomas was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list Aug. 22, and since then he has made steady progress towards an eventual return.
Thomas first participated in seven-on-seven drills on Aug. 24, which received a round of applause from the team. Thomas has been focused on establishing chemistry with quarterback Carson Wentz, and so far, their rapport is coming along well.
"I've also seen him on tape from last year as I'm learning the new plays and everything," Wentz said Aug. 29. "So I am trying to see how he moves on tape, and I think he's looking good. I'm excited to keep building that chemistry."
After not having most of their options at tight end available during training camp, the Commanders could have their full arsenal of weapons at the position, as John Bates will be active and Cole Turner is questionable.
"With [us] having most of the guys back, I think it gives us an opportunity to feel good about who we are, and see where we gotta get better," Rivera said Wednesday. "[We'll] See how we can improve and go from there."
Safety Kamren Curl, who has missed practice since last week, has been ruled out for Week 1 with a thumb injury.
Curl was spotted on the sideline wearing a sling last week and confirmed in a locker room interview that he did have surgery on his right thumb. He was wearing a cast during the interview and was absent during Wednesday's practice because of a doctor's appointment. He did return and was in uniform Thursday and Friday, but his days included stretching with the team and working out with the training staff. He was listed as a non-participant throughout the week.
With Curl out, the Commanders will need to rely on their depth at the safety position, which includes 2021 fifth-round pick Darrick Forrest, four-year pro Jeremy Reaves and 2022 fourth-round pick Percy Butler. All three players showed growth during training camp, and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said Thursday that the team will make sure all three players are "ready to roll" on Sunday.
Forrest, who is listed second on the unofficial depth chart behind Curl, said during training camp that he is "extremely more comfortable" than he was as a rookie.
"I just feel like I need to play my role," Forrest said in camp. "I know that I'm going to come in at the buffalo nickel package and I got to play my role. I got to do my responsibility and I just got to help the defense run efficiently."
Reaves, who made the initial 53-man roster for the first time in his career, was one of the standouts in the secondary during training camp. Rivera said the young safety "did the things that he needed to do, showed us what he is capable of." Reaves will play in Week 1 for the first time in his career and intends to carry the momentum he established in training camp to the regular season.
Here are some other notes from the day.
-- Washington also announced game statuses for three more players. Phidarian Mathis and Trai Turner were full participants throughout the week and will be active on Sunday. Cam Sims was limited again on Friday but is out of the concussion protocol and will be available against the Jaguars.
-- Rivera said there will be a committee approach to replacing Curl. The head coach expressed confidence in Washington's depth pieces and took steps earlier in the week to make sure they were ready in case Curl needed more time to recover.
-- On that note, Rivera feels optimistic this is just a temporary setback for Curl. He likes the way Curl has been recovering, although he will consult with the doctor to get a clearer idea of his recovery.
-- Rivera echoed Forrest's statements made in training camp that the safety is playing well and has more knowledge of the system. "He's very physical. After Kam, he's probably one of our more physical guys. He's a downhill player. He's very active. He plays with his eyes pretty well. He sees a lot. I like his ability to run."
-- Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese addressed the media and reflected on the passing of his father, Ernie.
"He's my first call. My first guy. He and I were tighter than tight, so there's nothing left unsaid. It went quick and it was good for him. He's in a better place."
-- Zampese also broke down the difference between coaching Wentz and Taylor Heinicke.
"I hit it off with both of them a lot really easily. And they're both guys that just say, heck with it a little bit and I'm doing this and have a grit to them. And that the certain guys that have a high grit level like, that have a high pain threshold and can play under pressure that way. They're so fun to be around because they don't get affected by outside forces."