Updated: May 5
By Adam Aniba
During Washington's 23-21 win over the Packers, Taylor Heinicke leaned on the run game with 36 run plays called. On one of those runs, undrafted rookie tight end Armani Rogers (Scouting Report) was under center.
Down 7-0 in the 1st quarter to Green Bay, on 2nd and 6 form the Packers 15 yard line, Scott Turner called a zone-read with Rogers behind the center in shotgun. On the play, the former Ohio signal caller's responsibility was to read the edge rusher and either keep it or hand it off. Rogers ran the play with precision to pick up the first down.
Defying the Odds
Rogers has defied the odds as a former college QB, who recently made the switch from college quarterback to tight end during the pre-draft East West Shrine Bowl. The feel good story continued, when he was signed as an undrafted free agent by Washington and climbed the depth chart.
Depth at tight end has been an issue since training camp. Fan favorite Sammis Reyes was released with an injury settlement, John Bates, Curtis Hodges (on IR) and 5th rounder Cole Turner has missed time with various injuries. This opened the door for Rogers to get a shot in the regular season.
In the week 7 win vs the Packers, Rogers recorded 3 receptions for 28 yards (17 yds long) and three targets.
Although it was just one game, Rogers displayed his value as athletic pass catching tight end with reliable hands and the speed to gain separation (4.58 pro day forty time). His ability to line up under center and run the option/zone read, make him a useful weapon that defenses account for. Although he's still raw as a blocker, he displays the willingness and the ability to improve in that area.
This week fans could see the return of Logan Thomas, but that shouldn't reduce Rogers role in the passing game. Washington has shown little innovation this season, but Scott Turner opened up the playbook with Taylor Heinicke now under center.
Having weapons such as McLaurin, Samuel, Dotson (will be inactive vs IND), Thomas and Gibson, shouldn't preclude more snaps for Rogers. Installing 3-5 plays a game featuring Rogers, especially in the red zone, will keep defenses on their toes.
Let's hope Turner realizes that Rogers can be an asset in the passing game and open up the playbook even more this week.
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