- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

ASHBURN — The Redskins’ fourth and final preseason game takes place in Tampa Bay on Thursday night. The fourth preseason game is mostly about determining which of the 90 players currently on the Redskins roster will remain there after the cutdown to 53 on Saturday. 

The starters won’t play, so it’s less about which facets of the game are working than it is about who is simply making plays. With that in mind, here are five roster (or roster-related) battles to pay attention to tomorrow night. 

QB Nate Sudfeld vs. Nate Sudfeld

The Redskins third-string quarterback should play all four quarters Thursday night. He’s had to fight with starter Kirk Cousins and backup Colt McCoy for limited reps during training camp in the preseason, so Sudfeld has not had much time to convince the Redskins it’s worth carrying three quarterbacks on the active roster. Sure, they probably don’t like the idea of trying to stash Sudfeld on the practice squad and running the risk of losing him to another team, but they’d also like a space for a player like running back Mack Brown, cornerback Joshua Holsey or linebacker Chris Carter. The Redskins carried three quarterbacks last season and it seems likely they’ll do so again, but Sudfeld needs to give them reason to.

WR Josh Doctson vs. his hamstring

Can’t these two just get along? Coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday that Doctson wants to play in the game. Smart money says he doesn’t, because the Redskins just don’t want to risk his health. Doctson missed the first preseason game and multiple training camp practices because of a hamstring pull, then played the second game, then sat out again last week against the Bengals because the injury was bothering him. Doctson also couldn’t get any work in with starting quarterback Kirk Cousins during the game. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Doctson even warms up or plays just a snap or two to go through the motions. 

WRs Brian Quick vs. Robert Davis and Maurice Harris

At this point, Davis seems to have the edge in the competition for the Redskins final spot or two at wide receiver. Harris has struggled with health and Quick just hasn’t made many plays. He also had a bad drop against Cincinnati last week. Davis has come along nicely in polishing up his routes, which is important to Gruden, but he’s still raw enough to be considered a bit of a luxury compared with a more experienced player like Quick. Harris missed most of training camp with a lower leg injury and, even though the Redskins like him, would have a lot of catching up to do. If the Redskins keep six receivers, they can pick two from this trio.

CBs Josh Holsey vs. Quinton Dunbar

If the Redskins chose to keep six cornerbacks, they could keep both Holsey and Dunbar. That’s going to be tough, though, especially considering the fact that they will likely keep five safeties. Dunbar is the more established player, but Holsey has come on strong this preseason, came up with a big sack against the Bengals, and is adored by the coaching staff. Holsey has done enough this preseason that it seems unlikely the Redskins could get him onto the practice squad. Some team would have seen him flash and pluck him off waivers. Can Holsey show the Redskins enough on Thursday to convince them that’s not worth the risk?

OG Kyle Kalis vs. OL Tyler Catalina

Both undrafted rookies managed to leapfrog 2015 fourth-round draft pick Arie Kouandjio on the depth chart and are competing for roster spot as a backup guard/offensive lineman. Kalis was the first to move ahead of Kouandjio during training camp and has looked slightly more solid, but Catalina can play both guard and tackle and therefore offers more versatility. Look at how they perform, but also pay attention to how much and when they’re used. Both will likely “start” but does one play considerably more? Snaps late in the game are often last chances.

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