By Dana Burrell
With just five days before the Week 1 against the Eagles at FedEx, the Washington Football Team today released its initial depth chart for the 2020 season:
— Dwayne Haskins Jr. is listed as the No. 1 quarterback, which is no surprise considering head coach Ron Rivera named him the starter on Sept. 2.
What is noteworthy is that Kyle Allen (above) is listed as the backup with Alex Smith behind him. Allen took most of the second-team reps in 11-on-11 drills during training camp as Smith continued to work his way back to full strength. Allen also has a solid grasp of offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s system after learning from him in Carolina the past two seasons.
But if there’s a situation where Smith needs to play against the Eagles, Rivera said he feels comfortable putting Smith in. Rivera made that clear by not only keeping Smith on the 53-man roster, but also not placing him on Injured Reserve.
“You guys didn’t get to see it, but we threw him right into the middle of the fire in the last two days of practice,” Rivera said of Smith. “He handled all the 11-on-11 drills for the backups and for the practice team stuff. He got right into the middle of it. People were flying all over the place, and he just stood tall. That was probably the biggest hurdle for me personally that I wanted to see. Just watching him do that was kind of a cool deal because I’m fired up for what he can be.”
— J.D. McKissic is listed as the No. 1 running back, followed by Antonio Gibson, Peyton Barber and Bryce Love. However, the order of running backs does not seem to be of much importance in Turner’s offense, which likes to use two rushers on the field at the same time. The Eagles’ defensive game plan will also influence who’s out on the field Sunday.
— Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims Jr.and Dontrelle Inman are listed as the starting wide receivers. Each of them have been working with the first unit for the past month.
— Logan Thomas is officially listed as the starting tight end after a standout training camp. Thomas, who came over from Detroit this offseason, has shown off his athleticism in Washington while serving as one of Haskins’ favorite targets, especially in the red zone. Jeremy Sprinkle is listed as the No. 2 tight end, followed by Marcus Baugh.
— Left guard Wes Martin and left tackle Geron Christian Sr. are listed as the starters at their respective positions. Both players have been the starters for nearly all of training camp and the preseason.