- “Samaje Perine fumbled his way off the team” is the exact phrasing to describe what happened on Thursday. Rob Kelley was performing better and then Perine fumbled. It’s essentially his second fumble of the preseason. He lost the rock in New England, but forward progress was called to save him. He had multiple fumbles last season and the ball is simply too valuable in the NFL to fumble. Ball security trumps all, but if you had it to the fact that Kelley looked more explosive in his 11 carries for 49 yards and Perine will not be on my final roster projection.
- The Redskins tackling was dreadful at times on Thursday night. Troy Apke was chief amongst that group in the first half, which doesn’t bode well for the fourth-round pick. He’s just not ready to play in the NFL. His upside might be enough to keep him on the roster right now, but Kenny Ladler’s probably the better football player right now. It’s not a wide gap, and thus I’m not projecting Ladler makes the team over Apke, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Also wouldn’t surprise me if they go after a veteran safety.
- There are some really interesting practice squad candidates for this team. Ranthony Texada had an interception and really nice return. Ladler showed a lot early in camp and has some potential both on defense and special teams. De’Veon Smith ran incredibly well in the second half in his first game action. Jerod Fernandez was a priority undrafted free agent and is buried on the inside linebacker depth chart, but could be a good player one day. These guys won’t get written about again for the rest of the year unless called upon, but deserve a hat tip for coming to work every day knowing they likely won’t make this or any other NFL team this year and working their tails off anyway. Gruden spoke earlier this week about how he wanted to let these guys get some things on tape. Many showed themselves well.
The roster is cut to 53 on Saturday at 4 p.m. After that? Well, the roster might change again. It’s vital to remember that the roster Saturday isn’t necessarily the roster by Monday. By Monday, there will be waiver claims, free agents signed and maybe a trade or two. There will also be a practice squad. Then? Week 1 is finally here.