ASHBURN -- We've reached the end of the road for roster predictions, which means it will be the end of the road for some with the Washington Redskins. The team must trim the roster to 53 by Saturday. Here's my sense of the Week 1 roster right now.
Starters in italics
* Yes, the rookie sticks and I shared my thoughts on why here. It's all about developing. If Sudfeld doesn't over the season and other needs crop up, then changes could happen.
Changes (Out - 4th RB TBD)
* How do we go from having four runners stick to just three after Mack Brown rocked the preseason finale? Blame Kelley and Jones' rehab. The idea of another back, and likely an undetermined veteran, involved the consistent injury status with the first two options -- Jones suffered a sprained shoulder in the second preseason game -- and Kelley's inexperience. Yet the mature rookie continues to impress. Combined with Jones telling Breaking Burgundy his shoulder feels nearly 100%, the Redskins can keep just three and hope they can sneak Brown onto the practice squad, though that might be a true magic act.
Wide receiver (6) -- DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross
This group of six has remained the same all summer and yet the competition picked up as Maurice Harris, T.J. Thorpe and Kendal Thompson impressed during practices and games. In most other years, one of them might have snuck on. Grant once again turned into a preseason hero and the speedy Ross showed a wider array of route-running moves this season. That Ross is also Washington's primary kick returner works in his favor. Yet Thorpe averaged over 23 yards a return during the preseason and really stood out with one-on-one moves and his ability to get yards after the catch. The 6--foot-3 Harris looks like a professional receiver. That Doctson appears ready to practice probably hurt his cause as a possible red-zone target. Good chance Thompson and Thorpe/Harris hit the practice squad if possible.
Tight end (3) -- Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Vernon Davis
* The odd man out here is Logan Paulsen. It's a numbers thing, as in the overall 53-man roster. Washington could keep four tight ends and ideally might want that many. But with the impressive trio ahead of him and the needs elsewhere, four might be a luxury. Plus with Derek Carrier eligible to return off the PUP list after Week 7 and fullback Joey Kerridge a likely Practice Squad option, Washington has options even Paulsen moves on.
Changes ( In - Reiter; Out - Takoby Cofield)
* The intrigue here centers more on the center and left guard starting spots than any roster battle. Lauvao has made noticeable strides all summer and now could start Week 1 simply based on Long possibly missing the opener with a sprained ankle. No Long would also keep Lichtensteiger in the lineup and probably means another center must stay at least for a week. One source told Breaking Burgundy they were told pregame the last slot was Reiter's "to lose." He held his own and then some against the Buccaneers. Yet Cofield also continues to impress and I'm not sure the Redskins could slip him onto the PS for a second straight year. Part of me wonders if Lichtensteiger becomes the odd man out if Long can go Week 1. That way Reiter, Cofield and Kouandjio, who is no lock, can all stay.
Click here for the defensive depth chart and final cuts discussion.
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