Price finds his way to injured reserve with an undisclosed injury in order to make room for quarterback Kyler Murray, who was activated from IR this afternoon. Price spent time on IR last year with a knee injury before missing the first five games of this season, as well.
Battling a turf toe issue sustained Monday night, Terry McLaurin will not need surgery. But an extended rest period is underway. This hiatus has the top Commanders skill-position talent uncertain to be ready by Week 1, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler (Twitterlinks). McLaurin has not missed a game due to injury since 2020. The Commanders have made some big investments at wide receiver since starting McLaurin’s tenure off with little around him. Curtis Samuel is going into the final season of his three-year, $34.5MM contract, and the team has first-rounder Jahan Dotson going into his second season. But McLaurin has been one of the NFL’s best receivers, totaling his third straight 1,000-yard season months after signing a three-year, $69.6MM extension.
Here is the latest from the NFC East:
Washington’s offensive line is nearly set. Free agent Nick Gates will enter the season as the starting center, despite the team drafting Ricky Strombergin Round 3, while SI.com’s Albert Breer notesSam Cosmi — a converted tackle who was not a full-time starter last season — will line up at right guard. The left guard competition is not yet over, but Saahdiq Charles is believed to have the lead on Chris Paul. Stromberg could have a chance to step in at center or one of the guard spots, Breer adds, noting the rookie improved as camp progressed. Stromberg earned third- and first-team All-SEC acclaim during his final two seasons at Arkansas. If nothing else, Stromberg represents intriguing 2023 depth. Charles Leno and free agency addition Andrew Wylie are in place at tackle.
Big Blue continues to consider a cornerback configuration where Adoree’ Jackson shifts to the slot, with Schwartz adding the current plan appears to be a setup with the veteran inside and rookies Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins on the perimeter. The Old Dominion-developed sixth-rounder moving into the lineup would keep slot options Darnay Holmes and Cor’Dale Flott on the bench, with Jackson — a career-long boundary corner — taking over there. This would be a bold move, but it has been on the team’s radar for a bit now.
Finishing up an offseason in which the Cowboys took care of their safeties, the team guaranteed Jayron Kearse‘s $4MM 2023 base salary, per ESPN’s Field Yates and Todd Archer (on Twitter). As a vested veteran, Kearse’s salary would have become guaranteed just before Week 1. But the Cowboys offered some protection for the starter. At safety this offseason, Dallas re-signed Donovan Wilson to a three-year, $21MM deal and extended Malik Hookerfor the same terms. Kearse, who has started 29 of the 30 games he has played with the Cowboys, is tied to a two-year, $10MM deal signed in 2022.
The Commanders’ 2022 offensive line was one of the league’s most beleaguered position groups last year. The team dealt with multiple injuries throughout the season, handicapping a group that already was lacking in star talent. A good amount of turnover is expected from last year’s lineup, but is it nearly enough to not be a hindrance to quarterback Sam Howell‘s first season as a Day 1 starter?
With the offseason moves, we’re starting to see the line take shape. Left tackle Charles Leno is the only sure thing on the line. He’s a definitive starter and should produce at a consistent level. The Commanders spent too much money on Wylie for him not to start. It’s been a couple years since his best performances (he allowed nine sacks last year), but his starting experience for a Super Bowl-winning team is likely enough to cement him at right tackle.
Gates likewise is being paid at a starters’ rate, so he’s the odds-on favorite to take the starting job at center. In that case, it ends up being a smart move to have retained Larsen, since over the past two years, Gates has only appeared in 12 games. If Gates continues to struggle to stay on the field, Washington knows Larsen can step up. With the addition of Stromberg in the draft, the Commanders are certainly attempting to feel secure after a season that decimated their centers room.
Samuel Cosmi is an interesting piece in the line. He was drafted out of Texas in the second round two years ago as a top tackle prospect, and while he’s gotten some run there in Washington, he’s also filled in a bit at guard. With Wylie and Leno likely securing starting roles on the outside, Cosmi can either become a strong depth piece at tackle or continue working as a starter at guard.
The other guard spot seems fairly open. Saahdiq Charles is currently one of the top candidates for the starting role. In three years with the team, Charles has started eight games, but he’s not really expected to excel as a starting guard. His main competition for the position seems to be last year’s seventh-round pick Chris Paul. Paul only made his NFL debut when he started the season finale for the Commanders last year, but Rivera has heaped praise on the progress and abilities of the young man. If he continues to impress, he could push Charles for the starting spot opposite Cosmi.
So, did the Commanders piece together a line that their second-year passer can be confident behind? It’s almost certainly too soon to tell. There’s an argument to be made that they were able to increase the talent of their two-deep, but the biggest thing they could improve on to better their chances of success this year is just health.
Stromberg was brought in with the intention that he would compete for the starting center job with returning starter Chase Roullier and former Giant Nick Gates. The oft-injured Rouiller was released two weeks ago. Gates has spent most of his time in the NFL at the center position but has experience at both guard spots and right tackle, as well.
While Stromberg has a decent opportunity to earn a starting spot, Daniels will be competing with Cornelius Lucas for one of the top backup spots behind starting tackles Andrew Wylie and Charles Leno.