DeSean Jackson injury hurts Andre Roberts?

DeSean Jackson's injury means more playing time for others -- and a chance for the coaches to imagine an offense with youth at receiver.

DeSean Jackson's shoulder injury means more playing time for others, at least for the next 1-2 weeks. Andre Roberts is the logical option to start opposite Pierre Garcon. This might be his undoing.

Fine, let's not be overly dramatic, but instead focus on the situation. Roberts getting temporarily bumped up the depth chart means others do as well. Specifically, Ryan Grant and rookie Jamison Crowder.

I've been of the belief that Roberts, who served as Washington's third receiver last season, isn't safe. For now that means depth chart status, but should he slide, then possibly his roster spot. Lots of drops and uninspiring returns plus talented kids pushing him lead to such conclusions.

With Jackson out, Roberts has an opportunity for more work opposite Garcon and to flash the steady and at times explosive form he showed previously with the Arizona Cardinals.

The thing is, Jackson's absence also means more first-team work for Grant and Crowder. This means more opportunities for the coaching staff to envision the offense with an impressive route-runner like Grant or a blur like Crowder on the field.

The timing is interesting for all three in that they're going up against an actual opponent in the Texans. Houston corner Kareem Jackson and safety Rahim Moore are legit NFL starters, and the team selected corner Kevin Johnson 16th overall in the 2015 draft.

The 6-foot-0 Grant also offers some size to the equation. Crowder, who is having a monster camp, provides another playmaking threat capable of scoring from all angles. He's also in the mix for the return job. (Should running back Chris Thompson earn a roster spot, he's another return man candidate and therefore another possible knock against keeping Roberts).

If we're talking the best 53 players, Roberts stays put. But if we're talking about the future and finding more minutes for the upside options, maybe not. Thats especially true if a new general manager who didn't sign the veteran has final say.

With Jackson out, Roberts now has a bigger platform to show last year's issues are in the past. The thing is, Grant and Crowder have the next 1-2 weeks to show they can help out significantly right away. Based on what we've seen so far, that's not necessarily good news for Roberts.


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