Commanders starters will play ‘very limited’ vs. Ravens in preseason finale

Commanders starters will play 'very limited' in preseason finale originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ASHBURN, Va. — Many teams across the NFL typically bench their starters for the final preseason game, allowing those on the roster bubble to play their way on or off the final 53-man squad. But those towards the bottom of the Washington Commanders roster will have to wait — at least initially.

Head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that Commanders’ starters will play “very limited” during Saturday’s exhibition finale against Baltimore. When asked if that meant the starters on both offense or different, the head coach nodded and said “yup” before repeating “very limited” once more.

Rivera did not confirm that every starter would suit up for Saturday’s game, however. So, there’s still a chance quarterback Carson Wentz and some of the other entrenched starters on Washington’s roster don’t touch the field. It’s worth noting the Commanders did not play most of their starters in last year’s final preseason matchup.

The Ravens, Washington’s opponent, have won an NFL-record 22 straight preseason games.

“Yeah, you want to,” Rivera said Tuesday on ending the Ravens’ streak. “You go into every game expecting to win. Good for them. It’s their thing. It’s what they’re doing. They come out and they play a specific way. Good for them. Our job is to go out and make sure our guys are playing, growing and getting better as football players. Like I said, you play every game to win.”

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh has not declared whether his starters will play on Saturday, but it’s worth noting that star quarterback Lamar Jackson and many of the other starters have yet to play a preseason snap. Baltimore has chosen to play it safe with most of its key players this preseason, especially after running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason finale against Washington in 2021.

Kickoff for Washington-Baltimore is at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. on NBC4 and NBC Sports Washington.

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