Alex Akingbulu

Commanders Place CB Benjamin St-Juste, OL Saahdiq Charles On IR

Washington made some quick adjustments to its active roster just prior to its season finale against Dallas this weekend, placing cornerback Benjamin St-Juste and offensive lineman Saahdiq Charles on injured reserve, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. To fill their spots on the 53-man roster, the Commanders signed practice squad tackle Alex Akingbulu and practice squad defensive end Benning Potoa’e to the active roster.

The biggest name here is obviously St-Juste, who has become a full-time starter in the slot during his sophomore season with the Commanders. As a rookie third-round pick last year, St-Juste was able to earn some serious playing time, starting three of nine appearances, but concussion issues led to an early end to his rookie year on IR. This season, St-Juste moved from outside corner to play more of a nickel role in the slot. St-Juste started every game of the season alongside cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Bobby McCain before beginning to deal with an ankle injury in a Week 11 win over the Texans. St-Juste has missed four of the five games since then and will now end his second season in a row on IR. In his absence, the Commanders have utilized rookie seventh-round pick Christian Holmes and veteran Danny Johnson in the slot.

Since being drafted in the fourth-round in 2020, Charles has been a dependable backup lineman for the Commanders, filling in as a starter for at least one game each season. Charles started three games earlier this season after coming in for injured right guard Trai Turner in a Week 4 loss to the Cowboys. Charles has been inactive since the team’s Week 14 bye while dealing with a concussion. Placing him on IR ensures he will be inactive for his fourth straight game to end the season.

Akingbulu is an undrafted rookie out of Fresno State. The first-team All-Mountain West offensive tackle from last year will provide some depth to the offensive line after the loss of Charles to IR. Potoa’e went undrafted out of the University of Washington in 2020, initially signing with the Buccaneers. After two seasons on Tampa Bay’s practice squad, Potoa’e was released in final roster cuts this preseason and decided to sign to the Commanders’ practice squad this season. Potoa’e is looking for his second in-game appearance this season, while an appearance by Akingbulu would mark his NFL debut.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC East

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These CommandersCowboys, Eagles and Giants moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Dallas Cowboys

Signed to practice squad:

New York Giants

Signed:

Released:

Claimed:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Philadelphia Eagles

Claimed: 

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Washington Commanders

Released:

Claimed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Commanders Move Down To 53, Keep RB Brian Robinson On Active Roster

Teams have until 3pm CT to trim their rosters to the regular-season 53-man limit. The Commanders have done so but did it without moving Brian Robinson off the roster.

Shot twice in the lower body Sunday, Robinson underwent surgery. Ron Rivera also expressed optimism the third-round rookie could play this season. Washington is following through on these hopes, keeping the rookie running back on its active roster. Here are the moves the Commanders made to reach the 53-man max Tuesday:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

By keeping Robinson on their active roster, the Commanders opened the door to him not only playing in 2022. The team needed to carry the Alabama product through to its 53-man roster today in order to place him on short-term IR. An IR placement today would have ended Robinson’s season.

One of the gunshot wounds Robinson sustained hit his knee, but the bullet did not seriously damage ligaments, tendons or bone, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (video link). It is not a lock Robinson returns this season, per Garafolo, but the team is keeping its options open.

Robinson playing as a rookie would be obviously be a remarkable development. Prior to being shot, the Day 2 draftee had made a serious charge at the Commanders’ starting running back role. The team’s primary starter over the past two seasons, Antonio Gibson, remains on the roster, as do J.D. McKissic and Jonathan Williams. Robinson being moved to IR later this week will sideline him for at least four games — likely much longer, in this case — but allow him to return later this season, should he be cleared to do so.

The Chiefs, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter), also submitted a claim for Blanton recently, when the Rams waived him. It will be interesting to see if the young tight end generates any interest this week. Martin has generated consistent interest on the wire. The Commanders, who drafted the guard during the Bruce Allen regime, have made two waiver attempts to land him. The second one, earlier this month after the Jaguars cut Martin, was successful. It would not surprise if Martin is brought back via the practice squad — as several of Tuesday’s cuts will be — but he could also bring more interest on the wire.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/30/22

We’ll keep track of today’s minor transactions here:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

  • Activated from non-football illness list: OT Dan Skipper

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

 

NFL Workouts: 7/29/22

Here’s a list of minor players who visited or worked out for an NFL team today:

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Commanders

Howard had recently also worked out for the Saints, along with Bo Scarbrough, according to Nick Underhill at New Orleans Football Network. Howard has bounced between Philadelphia and Miami with limited success since averaging 1,123 rushing yards per season and totaling 24 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Bears. Injuries and limited productivity have really hurt Howard’s success over the past three years.