Washington Commanders tight end John Bates found himself in unfamiliar territory at the beginning of training camp.
"I've never really been hurt that much in my life," Bates said. "Being away from that is really tough to watch…guys that you're with every day going out and playing."
Dealing with a calf injury, the second-year tight end navigated the flurry of emotions that come with being sidelined. This time of year, when coaches spend hours evaluating every position and considering how the depth chart might shake out, watching practice as an injured player comes with an outside perspective on what the competition in your respective position group looks like. Six tight ends are currently on the active roster for the Commanders, a fact that Bates says is "pushing everyone to get better."
With Bates out, rookie Cole Turner, who has also missed time with injury,was able to get more reps, which allowed his game to develop in a way early on that it might not have had Bates been in the mix.
"The additional reps have helped me out for sure to get a better grasp," Turner said. "The easiest way of learning something is by doing it."
Taking it all in from the side field, Bates appreciated the contributions from the newer guys in the tight end group and what they were doing to keep up the intensity.
"Those young guys have been doing a great job for us going out there and stepping up with a couple guys down," Bates said. "We got a great group of guys and everyone wants everyone to be the best that they can be."
Fast forward less than a week, and Turner and Bates have switched spots in a sense as the rookie picked up an injury that's kept him out of practice recently.
With the first preseason game just a couple sessions out, Bates will be focused on getting back to business and establishing himself as a starter.
"I'm working my way there and I'm excited for what the season has to come," he said.
The Washington Commanders' offense had one of the best performances during Day 12 of training camp. Check out the top images from Tuesday's practice.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Wednesday, August 10, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux offers five things to know about the Commanders new DL coach Jeff Zgonina.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about what William Jackson III has shared to help out Christian Holmes.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Sam Cosmi's increased comfortability heading into Year 2.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about how players are looking forward to the Aug.6 practice at FedExField.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about a leaner Antonio Gibson who is confident heading into year 3.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the similar paths of Percy Butler and Washington Legend Brian Mitchell
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes about how Kendall Fuller's standout knowledge of the playbook, football IQ has set him up for success at camp so far
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about rookie Percy Butler's adjustment to NFL life and dad life.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes about Taylor Heinicke's love of LEGOS.
- The Washington Post's PJ Morales writes about the hunt for the team's next starting dual-returner.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Antonio Gibson's confidence entering Year 3.
- NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay provides a look back at Ryan Kerrigan's career in Washington.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about the sounds of the first few days of training camp.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Dyami Brown's epic in Day 3.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the positive Day 2 outing for the Commanders' secondary.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey also writes about the glimpses of Curtis Samuel magic that offer hope for the future.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey also writes about how Carson Wentz's attitude has impressed as training camp gets underway.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about the humble approach that is fueling the Commanders defense.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux also talks about Jahan Dotson's excitement towards learning from Terry McLaurin.
- ESPN's John Keim writes about Carson Wentz building his confidence on the first day of camp.
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- McLaurin has confidence in his and Carson Wentz's budding chemistry
- Media roundup | Sam Cosmi's progress feels like 'night and day' from rookie season
- Training camp notebook | Commanders begin preparations for season opener
- Media roundup | Carson Wentz's TD to Terry McLaurin felt like a 'game rep'
- 4 standouts from Week 2 of training camp
- Brian Robinson is becoming more than a downhill threat
- Training camp notebook | Inside Sam Howell's 'awesome' relationship with Taylor Heinicke
- Media roundup | Taylor Heinicke praises Sam Howell's arm strength, says the rookie QB 'can sling it'
- Training camp notebook | All about rest and recovery
- Media roundup | Charles Leno calls Brian Robinson a 'natural running back"
- Washington Commanders to induct Mike Bass into Ring of Fame during 2022 season opener
- Kendall Fuller: Commanders secondary can be 'as good as we wanna be'
- Training Camp Notebook | Curtis Samuels suits up, Cole Turner establishes chemistry with Carson Wentz
- "I absolutely love it, being out here in the uniform": Military members enjoy Salute Day at the Park
- Terry McLaurin provides roadmap for Jahan Dotson's development
- Cole Holcomb proud of Jamin Davis' growth
- Training Camp Notebook | RBs found open lanes in first padded practice
- Antonio Gibson looking 'spry' in return to team drills
- Training Camp Notebook | Defense shines to start Week 2 of camp
The Washington Commanders were back at The Park to kick off Week 3 of training camp. Check out the top images from Monday's practice. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)