The Shake-Up at Wide Receiver in Washington

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

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Washington faces Dallas this Sunday with the rivalry matchup being their last before the bye week. The situation at quarterback is still the hot topic among fans, but the current situation at receiver could be the most unsettled. Starting slot receiver Steven Sims Jr will once again be out, in addition to rookies Antonio Gandy-Golden and Isaiah Wright. So, who is left to help Kyle Allen and Terry McLaurin get the passing game going?


Although pickings are slim at receiver, former undrafted WR Cam Sims is in line for increased playing time this week. Sims recorded a late touchdown against the Giants and coaches should have a larger role carved out for him against Dallas. Dontrelle Inman made multiple clutch third down receptions last week, so he’ll also be in the mix at the Z.

Washington did make a roster addition this week by signing Robert Foster off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad. Although Foster’s 2019 season was one to forget, with only 3 receptions in 13 games, it could have had more to do with lack of opportunities. During his 2018 rookie season, Foster played in 13 games recording 541 yards with 3 TD’s and a 20.0 ypr average.


Foster might be viewed as a 3rd or 4th option in the passing game, but it’s worth noting that the former Alabama receiver had three 100-yard games and fell just 6 yards short of a fourth in ’18. Speed is an element needed in Turner’s short yardage passing game and Foster’s 4.41 will be key when Washington comes out of the bye.


Practice Squad Call Ups


It’s likely Jeff Badet and/or Tony Brown get promoted to the active roster. Although Brown could carve out a role, Badet is the type of receiver that could have an immediate impact. The former Oklahoma/Kentucky receiver had stints with the Vikings in ’18 and ’19 on their practice squad. In addition, Badet was drafted by the XFL Dallas Renegades and looked promising before the league folded.

Although there’s been little fanfare since the former Sooner receiver was signed to the practice squad, his reported 4.27 sec forty-yard-dash time during Oklahoma’s pro-day could be an asset in Turner’s offense. Through six games, the offensive play calling has fallen flat. Against New York, Scott Turner attempted to be innovative with more pre-snap motions, jet sweeps and more downfield pass attempts. Those are packages that Badet could be an asset. Although Turner has yet to find an identity or consistency for his pass/run game, adding more team speed could be exactly what helps them against Dallas.


Looking Ahead


The short term success for Washington’s passing game has been nothing short of a letdown and on Friday more negative news came out with ESPN reporting the following in regards to Dwayne Haskins being fined.

“Dwayne Haskins was fined $4,833 for making a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel last weekend when Washington visited the New York Giants, which is against the rules”.

Although this shouldn’t be a huge strike against Haskins, it puts the young QB one step farther away from getting back on the field. This upcoming bye week will be an opportunity for HC Ron Rivera to conduct a true self scout and determine what changes need to be made. His judgement has been suspect thus far and the bye week comes at a good time to reassess. The starting quarterback position seems destined to be Alex Smith‘s, unless somehow Kyle Allen starts to light it up. 

Regardless of who the quarterback has been, Terry McLaurin has been the bright spot in a thin/young receiving group. Washington could explore the trade route in an attempt to get a receiver such as Julio Jones (reportedly on the trade block), but a move like that will be costly. The NFC East might be up for grabs, but Washington is in a rebuild. It’s time Washington invests their resources in developing their youth and holding onto their draft picks to build Rivera’s vision. The 2021 class is deep at receiver, so finding a compliment for #17 could go a long way in helping whoever is under center in 2021.

If it’s Foster, Cam Sims, Brown or the speedy Badet, having another option is the only way Washington will be able to stay competitive in the East. Badet is a receiver that The Burgundy and Gold Report has been following. Facing the lackluster Dallas defense will be an opportunity for the young receivers to emerge.

⭐️Credit photos to Washingtonfootball.com and Elijah Walter Griffin Sr/Washington Football Team


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