The Washington Commanders wrapped up their final practice before they head to Owings Mills, Maryland, for their joint practice with the Baltimore Ravens. Here are some of the top observations from Day 15.
-- As always, we'll start off with some injury news. Benjamin St-Juste was absent Monday because of a tweaked ankle. Head coach Ron Rivera didn't seem worried about it, though, saying that the team wanted to be careful with a player like St-Juste who runs more than others due to the nature of his position. Sam Cosmi hyperextended his knee, Rivera said, but he was back on the field shortly after heading to the medical tent and finished the practice with the starters. Antonio Gibson also limped off the field, but Rivera did not have an update.
-- On the coaching side of things, offensive line coach Travelle Wharton threw out his back and has missed practice while he recovers from surgery.
-- Zion Bowens might be near the bottom of the depth chart, but he has flashed on occasion because of his hands and route running abilities. During one-on-one drills, he used a stutter step on Emmanuel Forbes Jr. and created some separation between him and the first-round pick, ending the play with a catch.
-- Forbes bounced back with a couple of pass breakups in team drills, the first of which came while working against Jahan Dotson. After the play was over, Eric Bieniemy emphasized that he wants to see Forbes fight for the ball. Later on in the day, Forbes got another breakup in 7-on-7 drills while working against Terry McLaurin.
-- There's not much on this next note, but it's worth mentioning anyway. The offense used speakers during one team drill to simulate crowd noise for the players. It was the first time Washington had used the speaker, but it's worth the players getting used to all the extra noise when running plays.
-- Jeremy Reaves was in the right spot during one of the last 11-on-11 drills when Sam Howell overthrew a pass intended for Cole Turner. Reaves caught the pass with his chest and sprinted down the sideline.
-- Tariq Castro-Fields showed strong coverage skills on a pass intended for Byron Pringle. Castro-Fields batted the ball away, which prompted another loud reminder to his receivers that they need to fight for receptions.
-- There were two candidates for the catch of the day. The first was a reception made in stride by Dotson, who ran down the sideline on a beautiful pass by Howell. The next was from Dax Milne, who leapt to make a one-handed catch near the sideline.
-- The receiver position is exceptionally competitive with several players in the running for the final roster spots. When it comes to deciding who will be on the initial 53-man roster, Rivera said that how each player fits into the scheme will play a pivotal role.
"We got a couple guys that are nice sized receivers that run well, very good on special teams," Rivera said. "We got a couple guys that can play all three of the wide receiver positions. Those are the guys that you also will take into consideration."
-- We haven't spoken much about Montez Sweat, but Rivera has been impressed with how the defensive end has played throughout camp.
"He's a guy that's got some great explosion, play speed and quickness," Rivera said. "And you see it. You see it flare up when he's focused in and ready to roll. You see some good reps. You see some flashes of what his abilities really are."
-- Rivera expects his players to be competitive over the next two practices with the Ravens. He doesn't want things to get chippy, though. Instead, he's looking forward to them getting the most work they possibly can while working against another team.
"I was very direct about that, and I'm going to be direct in the next couple meetings that we have leading right up to practice," Rivera said. "We don't want to go around and bull----. We want to get around, we want to learn, we want to grow, we want to be able to work our offense and defense and special teams against a good football team, a very well-coached football team that's pretty much been one of the standards for probably the last 14 years since John Harbaugh arrived on the scene."