After cutting down their roster to 85 players earlier this week, the Washington Football Team is turning their attention to a preseason clash with the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night. While most of Washington's 53 roster spots are spoken for, that doesn't mean that there isn't room for change. In fact, Friday's matchup will give new players the chance to prove why they deserve a roster spot and for returning players to prove why they should keep their old one.
Nevertheless, several players will have a lot of pressure on their shoulders heading into Friday's game against the Bengals. The next roster cuts are coming up on Aug. 24, so time is running out to make the best possible impression.
Here's a look at three WFT players who are fighting for their jobs on Friday.
Washington Football Team Players to Watch
1. Jeremy Reaves, Safety
A 2018 undrafted free agent, Jeremy Reaves has spent the past three seasons with Washington. While he may have received an 81.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last year, WFT has a lot of depth at the safety position. Reaves isn't going to get reps ahead of players like Landon Collins, Bobby McCain and Deshazor Everett. Roster cuts always lead to surprising releases and Reaves being let go would certainly fall into this category. With that being said, he'll need a strong performance Friday to stay in the coaching staff's good graces.
2. Kyle Allen, Quarterback
Fourth-year quarterback Kyle Allen's first year with the Washington Football team was decent at best. He started in four games and threw 4 touchdowns to a single interception in that span, however, his 152.5 passing yards per game left a lot to be desired. Allen is currently fighting with Taylor Heinicke to be Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup. Unfortunately, he missed last week's preseason game with an injury, so Friday's matchup against Cincinnati could be his last shot at proving that he's worth keeping around. Considering how the 25-year-old is on a one-year, $850,000 deal, Washington could view him as expendable if he doesn't put up a noteworthy performance.
3. Dustin Hopkins, Kicker
Seventh-year kicker Dustin Hopkins has been with Washington for his entire career. While he's been pretty reliable throughout his tenure, Hopkins had his worst season to date in 2020. He made a career-low 79.4% of his field goals and his four missed kicks from the 40 to 49-yard range were the most of his career. Some chalked it up to a fluke campaign, however, Hopkins still looked off in Washington's 22-13 loss to the New England Patriots last week, missing both of his attempted field goals. Maybe it's too early to sound the alarms, but Hopkins can't risk another showing like that against the Bengals. Even though Washington may not have a backup lined up, there are still options out there — whether they're veterans or undrafted free agents from this year's draft. Hopkins will be turning 31 years old in October, so maybe last season's performance was the beginning of his regression.
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