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Wake Up Washington | Key talking points emerge following initial 53-man roster release

While most of any team's initial 53-man roster can be predicted before an announcement is made, there's always a few surprises – whether that's in a player or two who makes the cut or how the numbers in position groups shake out.  

On Tuesday, the Commanders revealed that they had opted to retain five tight ends, and it was a decision that stuck out to Logan Paulsen. 

"The fact that they kept five I think is huge news," Paulsen said. "It kinda speaks to the talent they've got in the room for sure." 

The Commanders like what they have in a group highlighted by veteran Logan Thomas, rookie Cole Turner and the incredibly fast-learning Armani Rogers. The Commanders placed Curtis Hodges on Injured Reserve Thursday, leaving four on the active roster. Rogers won over the staff with his work ethic after playing quarterback for most of his career, and they are excited to see how he develops. 

"He had some injuries as well, but he was able to get out there every single day and go and compete every single day," said general manager Martin Mayhew. "I'm really excited about what the future holds for him." 

As for the defense, both Moss and Paulsen were surprised by the relatively light load of defensive backs, namely the fact that Washington opted to go with four cornerbacks -- two fewer than the previous two seasons.  

"I thought it was going to be a gang of DBs," Moss said. "It's gonna be very interesting to see how we're going to play with just those guys. 

The "why" behind the decision to go with four, though, isn't entirely murky.  

"I think it speaks to how they view a guy like [Percy] Butler and his role playing the Buffalo nickel and maybe a maturation from him which, he showed over the last couple of weeks at camp," Paulsen said. 

Washington did not keep just four cornerbacks for long, though. The team claimed Tariq Castro-Fields, who had 25 pass breakups in five seasons at Penn State, and Rachad Wildgoose, a 2021 sixth-round pick by the Buffalo Bills who played five games for the New York Jets, off waivers. 

"He's athletic," Ron Rivera said of Castro-FIelds. "He's long. He's more of an outside guy for the most part. He had some pretty good tape. Rashad Wildgoose...he's got terrific athletic ability and one thing he gives: he gives you position flex." 

How the choices Rivera & Co. Made will be put to the test in just nine days when the team kicks off against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11.

The Washington Commanders were back on the field Wednesday afternoon to prepare for their Week 1 opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Check out the top photos from the day. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders)

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Friday, September 2, 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.

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