The Washington Commanders were back on the practice fields of Ashburn Monday for day five of training camp. The Commanders received their first day off on Sunday since beginning camp last week.
Upon returning Monday, it appeared the offense was rusty. Washington’s defense again dominated practice. While the offense has had plenty of positive moments throughout the first week of camp, the defense remains ahead — for now.
Who stood out Monday? Who struggled?
Here are five takeaways from day five of Commanders’ training camp.
Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) and Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) take snaps during day three of training camp at the Park in Ashburn. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
It didn’t matter who was under center for Washington on Monday. Carson Wentz tossed three interceptions, while Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell were also intercepted. No one should be alarmed right now. Wentz is in the early stages of a new offense, and the early portions of training camp always favor the defense.
Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson (24). Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington took it easy with Anotnio Gibson through the first week of training camp. Gibson was nursing a hamstring injury from OTAs and head coach Ron Rivera said he was fine, but the team wasn’t inclined to push him. On Monday, Gibson was back, and according to Rivera, he looked “spry.”
“He did the four days of the ramp up with a specific plan, and today he came out, and he looked pretty spry.”
Washington Commanders center Chase Roullier (73). Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Center Chase Roullier was activated from the PUP list last week, meaning he was close to a full return. On Monday, Roullier participated in 11-on-11 drills.
That’s terrific news for the Commanders as they look to stabilize the offensive line before the season.
Washington Commanders tight end Cole Turner (85) . Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
On a day where the offense struggled, rookie tight end Cole Turner continued to make plays. Turner is more than just depth as a rookie. He will not only make the roster, but also carve out a role as a rookie.
Washington Commanders wide receiver Kyric McGowan (83). Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Commanders are giving multiple players an opportunity to win the job at punt and kick returner. Veteran Alex Erickson appears to be the top candidate to return kicks, but the player who returns kicks will also return punts. That may not be Erickson. Undrafted rookies Jequez Ezzard and Kyric McGowan, along with first-round pick Jahan Dotson, Dax Milne and Marken Michel are all in the mix.
Don’t count on Dotson being the primary punt returner. He may return punts on special occasions. Ezzard and McGowan are intriguing options. While neither is likely to contribute much at wide receiver, they have the skills to make the roster as a returner, particularly Ezzard.
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