Unfortunately, Mathis injured his knee in Week 1 last season, leading the Commanders to scour the waiver wire searching for a replacement. Fortunately, Washington claimed John Ridgeway off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys ahead of Week 2. Ridgeway would replace Mathis behind Jonathan Allen and Payne, becoming a key rotational piece for the foreseeable future.
Even better, Ridgeway was a fifth-round pick of Dallas in 2022, meaning Washington claimed his rookie contract. Now, with Allen and Payne signed for multiple years, the Commanders have an excellent pair of young interior defenders in Mathis and Ridgeway.
With the Commanders opening OTAs earlier this week, both players were still not back on the field. Mathis is back — and healthy. But Ridgeway was unable to participate due to a pectoral injury he suffered in the Week 18 win over Dallas.
Commanders DT John Ridgeway is not participating in OTAs. Suffered a pectoral injury in the last game of the season and is still rehabbing, per source.
G Andrew Norwell is also rehabbing from an injury.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) May 24, 2023
Ridgeway is still rehabbing from his injury, and the hope is he’ll be ready for training camp in July.
Ridgeway quietly did an outstanding job last season and is best remembered for two plays. The penalty at the end of the game against the Minnesota Vikings on special teams and his suplex against the Houston Texans.
— FansView (@FansView_App) November 20, 2022
Those plays overshadowed a good first season in the burgundy and gold for Ridgeway. Before the injury against the Cowboys, Ridgeway was dominating Dallas’ offensive line.