Camp notes, 8/8: Thoughts on Wentz and a tight end to monitor originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
ASHBURN — Probably the most key event of Monday's practice happened not on the field at the Washington Commanders' headquarters, but in the parking lot instead.
Sophie Manning, a five-year-old who is finishing up with her treatments for leukemia, was celebrated upon her arrival by a boisterous crowd.
From there, Manning was escorted inside the gates and got an up-close view of Washington's squad as part of her Make-A-Wish wish. Just like Josiah Desper, who received a similar welcome on Saturday at FedEx Field, Manning got tons of attention from many involved with the organization.
Now, for those who didn't venture out to the club's headquarters, here's a summary of the action...
The Curtis Samuel Practice Tracker is up to two, as the wideout was not limited at all on Monday. That comes on top of his full workout on Saturday. Whether it climbs to three, however, is unclear; Ron Rivera mentioned there would be a dialing back of Samuel coming soon, which perhaps means that Tuesday will be a restful one for Samuel. John Bates, who had been sidelined for at least a week, was back in the fold at tight end, albeit in a partial fashion. Rivera said he'll continue to be ramped up. Dyami Brown also suited up and wasn't held back at all.
Much has been made about Carson Wentz's accuracy, and understandably so. He has had some very wayward shots over the course of camp, with many of those misses coming in drills where there is literally no defense. It was probably the main topic of conversation on Saturday, as Wentz, Rivera and Terry McLaurin were all asked about it in their respective pressers at the stadium. With that in mind, putting together a compilation of as many Monday tosses as possible felt like a worthwhile exercise, and the finished product is here for you to judge. He seemed to be in a better rhythm for this session:
One takeaway from the above video is that Wentz definitely appears to have the smoothest reps with Jahan Dotson. The two were quite comfortable with one another in OTAs and minicamp and, for the most part, they've brought that into August. As for Wentz and McLaurin, Monday was a good example of the further development they must experience, yet also how productive they can be when they click. The pair went one-for-three in one portion of 11-on-11s on a trio of comeback-ish routes, which is a pattern that's heavily reliant on timing and ball placement. The one conversion was sweet, while the two misfires were clunky. They later hit on an intermediate shot that McLaurin would've taken for extra yards.
As far as guys who weren't participating, Cole Turner is still nursing a hamstring issue, while William Jackson III remained out, too. Another tight end, Curtis Hodges, was unable to go, which allowed the undrafted Armani Rogers to slide in with Wentz and the first-stringers for much of the morning. While Rivera told reporters that Rogers must sharpen up the details and also be better with his grasp of the playbook, Rogers has tantalizing size, a trait he's used often for up-top catches. He'll be fun to track in the preseason and may acquire a solid fan base.
Nate Gerry, a linebacker who was signed on Sunday, was rotated in for a sparse number of snaps on Monday. Per Rivera, Gerry was picked up to assist more in coverage than in run support. Steven Parker, another addition, was active at safety, nearly registering one interception. Gerry would figure to have a clearer path to a roster spot, though both are veterans who have played in a decent number of games in the league.
During one segment of the practice, Rivera had all three offensive lineups start a drive backed up near their own goal line. On defense, David Mayo lined up next to Cole Holcomb at linebacker on first and second down, which were both fairly-obvious run situations. Then, on third, Mayo subbed out and Jamin Davis joined the huddle to assist in defending the pass. That projects to be a common sight in 2022.