Actually, that's not completely true. Evidence that the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder is worthy popped from the start of team workouts. The previous roster debates involved gauging team priorities and recognizing position battles elsewhere.
Going forward, there are no close shaves with Garvin and the final 53 in mind. He is making the team. The confident Garvin knows it, and after weeks of watching the athletic force ply his craft during training camp and live action, so do we.
Garvin, signed as a free agent from the Steelers this offseason, was caught somewhere in the midst of that discussion, at least when it came to outside groupthink. The Upper Marlboro native spent his first three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers after going undrafted following four years at West Virginia. He stuck around primarily on special teams and it's easy to see why.
He isn't simply an athletic force. Garvin has strong football instincts that help him get at the ball or those holding it from all angles.
"I feel like I'm a linebacker at the same time," Garvin said of his performance to Breaking Burgundy. "I feel like I'm a linebacker who can play special teams and help you in any aspect ... in four downs. I feel like I'm trying to grow as a linebacker and as a special teams player .... You never want to be labeled as this or that. You want to be a football player, somebody who can play any part of the game and be dominant."
Against the Jets, he recovered a fumble, knocked down a pass and hit a quarterback
"It was cool," Garvin said. "There's some stuff I can get better, but I got my hands on the ball a couple of times, made some plays."
That's what the Redskins' defense needs more of: playmakers. Earlier last season, the ILB combination of Perry Riley and Keenan Robinson weren't providing that element. Eventually, Will Compton emerged as did Mason Foster and the positive play picked up. Martrell Spaight is showing that element in 2016 as well after missing most of his rookie season with a concussion. The Redskins selected Su'a Cravens for that very reason.
That's four inside linebackers right there. That's where the numbers game truly kicks in, especially since Riley remains in the mix.
So does Garvin. The world can change quickly, but from now on, he won't be a final make-or-break option. Garvin is making the team and not just solely because of his work on special teams.