OCTOBER 10: While Forrest may be able to return later this year, the same does not appear to be the case for Reaves. The latter suffered a partially torn ACL, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports. He is likely out for the season as a result, though Reaves is seeking further opinions before making a decision with respect to his recovery plan. Going the rest of the campaign without the 27-year-old will deal a notable blow to Washington’s special teams.
The Commanders have confirmed the IR moves for Forrest and Reaves while also announcing other roster tweaks. In addition to Burgess, linebacker De’Jon Harris has been signed from the practice squad to the active roster. The former UDFA made five appearances in each of the past two seasons in the nation’s capital, playing primarily on special teams. To fill the vacancy on the taxi squad, veteran safety Sean Chandler has been signed. The 27-year-old played all 17 games with the Panthers last season but he was suspended for two games in 2023 due to a substance-abuse policy violation.
OCTOBER 9: Days after a rough performance against the previously winless Bears, the Commanders received bad news on one of their starting safeties. Darrick Forrest is believed to have suffered a shoulder fracture, according to the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala.
A second-year starter in Washington, Forrest broke into the lineup on a full-time basis down the stretch last season. The Commanders have used Forrest as a first-stringer throughout his third NFL season; the former fifth-round pick played 95% of the team’s defensive snaps against the Bears before going down late with the injury. The Commanders hope Forrest will be able to come back after his four-week absence, Jhabvala adds.
The Commanders released Bobby McCain in March, ending a two-season partnership. Forrest, who commandeered the Commanders’ back-line job alongside Kamren Curl in Week 10 of last season, is signed through the 2024 season. The Commanders are planning to use second-year cog Percy Butler and second-round rookie Jartavius Martin at Forrest’s spot, Ron Rivera said.
Butler has seen more time than Martin this season. The latter sustained a concussion in Week 1 and has not logged any defensive snaps thus far in his second NFL slate. A hybrid player, Martin was the Commanders’ second DB choice to start the draft, being ticketed for Washington a round after the team chose Emmanuel Forbes. Butler has seen steady work in Year 2, playing 154 defensive snaps already. Through five games, Pro Football Focus ranks Forrest 59th and Butler 69th, respectively, among safeties.
Additionally, the Commanders will place backup safety Jeremy Reaves on IR; the sixth-year veteran suffered a knee injury against the Bears. Reaves has operated strictly on special teams this season but has been a spot starter in the past. Last season, Reaves earned first-team All-Pro acclaim for his special teams work, dealing Washington a blow in that department.
To help out at the position, the Commanders made multiple moves Monday. They are promoting safety Terrell Burgess to the active roster and adding Joshua Kalu to the practice squad. A former Rams third-round pick, Burgess split time with the Rams and Giants last season. Burgess was in camp with the Commanders but landed on the team’s practice squad after a late-August cut. Kalu started five games for the Titans last season.