Washington Commanders fans will be keeping a close eye on Jonathan Allen and Kamren Curl ahead of the team's Week 2 matchup against the Detroit Lions. On Wednesday, there was a bit of good news for two of the defense's most important pieces.
Both Allen and Curl were at practice and in uniform with the rest of the team. They were listed as limited participants, but it is a sign of progress in terms of their availability for Sunday.
Allen, who suffered a groin injury during Washington's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, did receive an MRI on Monday, although it was more of a precautionary decision by the team. Allen said in the locker room on Monday that he is "feeling good" and did not seem worried about his status.
Allen participated in individual drills on Wednesday with a wrap on his upper right thigh. Once individual drills had concluded, he headed to the side field to work with the training staff.
Allen's participation in practice is encouraging for the rest of the defensive line as well. Depth was a concern once Phidarian Mathis was placed on Injured Reserve, and since then, the team has signed Donovan Jeter to the active roster and Benning Potoa'e.
Kurl was in a helmet for the first time in almost two weeks on Wednesday, although he did not participate much in individual drills. Curl was still wearing the same bandage around his right thumb that he was wearing last week.
It is still unclear as to whether Curl will be ready to go on Sunday. Ron Rivera said Curl adds a bigger presence with his stature and impact as a player, but if he is ruled inactive, the head coach is confident in backup Darrick Forrest after the five tackles, two pass breakups and game-sealing interception he had against the Jaguars.
"He did things tremendously well and the things we asked him to do, [he] did very well," Rivera said. "That was a tremendous performance, and he made an impact in the game."
It would provide the defense with a tremendous lift if either Allen or Curl were able to play against the Lions. Dan Campbell's squad did drop their season opener to the Philadelphia Eagles, but it still managed to put together one of the better offensive performances with 181 yards on the ground.
Here are some other notes from Wednesday's practice.
-- A couple more injury-related observations: Cole Turner was on the injury report, but he was a full participant, which backs up Rivera's claims that the rookie would be coming back soon. Wes Schweitzer (hamstring) was the only non-participant today.
-- Rivera praised offensive coordinator Scott Turner during his press conference, saying that he has grown in terms of knowing how to attack defenses and create mismatches.
"He's in a great spot, too, because when your dad has done it all your life and you watched him do it and you grew up watching it, I think it helps you, I really do."
-- Rivera views Antonio Gibson’s receiver background as "tremendously important" when it comes to getting the running back in space. It allows them to put him in positions to use his athleticism, whether it is through a handoff or a pass behind the line of scrimmage.
-- Carson Wentz received the game ball after Washington's win over the Jaguars, and the quarterback said the gesture "meant a lot." He added that those are moments that he does not take lightly.
"Those are moments that definitely stick with you and so to get the first one there with it being Week 1 and everything being the new guy here and all of that meant a lot."
-- Wentz said it was "very rare" for Jahan Dotson to approach his rookie season with such maturity. "The moment wasn't too big for him," Wentz said, but it does not surprise him after what he saw from the rookie in training camp.