ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Commanders open 2022 NFL teaching camp Wednesday at their practice facility. This is a closer search at a handful of storylines:
Who is the participant with the most to verify? Quarterback Carson Wentz. ESPN NFL analyst Troy Aikman reported this was Wentz’s final season to demonstrate he could be a franchise quarterback, and he is ideal. Wentz was traded in consecutive offseasons — even immediately after throwing 27 touchdown passes to only seven interceptions with the Indianapolis Colts in 2021. As soon as upon a time, Wentz was deemed an MVP applicant in Philadelphia and moving into the 2020 year there was debate in the NFC East about who was far better among Wentz and Dallas’ Dak Prescott. Considering the fact that that time Wentz was benched once and traded two times and had every single flaw analyzed. But he continues to be a proficient player, which is why Washington wished him. He’ll be surrounded by arguably his best assortment of talent posture expertise given that he entered the NFL in 2016.
The most important dilemma: How great is their protection? In 2020, Washington’s protection completed next in overall yards and fourth in factors but past period, struggling with considerably tougher quarterbacks, it concluded 22nd in yards and 25th in factors. All through just one 8-recreation stretch they hovered close to the major 10 but in general have been inconsistent and annoying. Their line, even if defensive stop Chase Younger misses a few of games to start out for the reason that of ACL operation, should be fantastic. But concerns encompass the back seven that must be answered: Will linebacker Cole Holcomb just take the massive phase the coaches boasted he was capable of having? Will second-year linebacker Jamin Davis be a lot more impactful than he was as a rookie? Do the Commanders have sufficient secondary depth?
Teaching camp is a results if … receiver Curtis Samuel stays healthful and rookie Jahan Dotson appears legit. Both equally will be pivotal to Washington’s offensive achievements. Samuel played just five video games in 2021 for the reason that of a groin personal injury adopted by just one to his hamstring. He by no means seemed explosive and it price the offense. He sat out a pair of days in the spring — mentor Ron Rivera claimed it was thanks to tightness in his legs and out of “an abundance of caution.” Samuel adds flexibility with his capacity to line up in the backfield, the slot or on the outside the house. Dotson seemed sharp in the spring with his savviness as a lot as his expertise. If that proceeds he’ll be a steady risk alongside Terry McLaurin. It would help Washington to use far more 4-receiver sets and diversify its attack and reduce the load on McLaurin.
Personal injury impact: Youthful and limited close Logan Thomas might pass up the begin of the season because of 2021 ACL injuries. How extensive they are out could be the difference in Washington’s period. Younger endured a torn correct ACL and MCL in November you can find a definite probability he could skip a several game titles. Though he only posted 1.5 sacks in nine game titles final yr, he remains a proficient pass-rusher who’s capable of elevating this defense. In the meantime, Thomas’ return also remains uncertain and you can find a opportunity he may miss the period opener. He tore his remaining ACL in December so the opener is only 9 months from the injury. Washington’s obtaining corps really should be reliable, but Thomas performs a vital part in the pass video game since of his measurement and pink zone achievements.
Camp prediction: Jogging again Antonio Gibson emerges as the most talked about offensive participant in camp. There will be a whole lot of consideration on Wentz, so perhaps this really should be the player most discussed just after their new quarterback. It’s generally tough for running backs to stand out in camp mainly because there is just not reside tackling. But Gibson will arise for the reason that of the get the job done he place in this offseason, reducing his human body unwanted fat from 18 percent to less than 12, he reported, which ought to increase additional explosiveness. Gibson will remind anyone about his prospective based mostly on what he’s performed the former 6 months.