Commanders Place DT Phidarian Mathis, DE Efe Obada On IR
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Commanders Place DT Phidarian Mathis, DE Efe Obada On IR

Jul 12, 2023

Phidarian Mathis will end up missing 20 of his first 21 NFL games. After going down in Week 1 of last season, the former second-round pick is back on IR. Washington also moved fellow defensive lineman Efe Obada to IR.

The third defensive tackle out of Alabama on Washington’s active roster, Mathis missed all of his rookie season due to a knee injury that required surgery. That is not behind this injury designation. Mathis returned to the field during the Commanders’ preseason slate but sustained a calf injury.

This designation will sideline Mathis and Obada for the season’s first four games. In 2022, the NFL reintroduced a limit on how many players could return from injured reserve in a season. After teams could bring an unlimited number of players off IR during the 2020 and ’21 seasons, they are now capped at eight such activations. Mathis and Obada are now part of that roster math for the NFC East franchise.

Washington’s Mathis pick — at No. 47 overall — pointed to Daron Payne moving on in 2023. But Mathis went down in Week 1 of last season, playing only three defensive snaps before the knee injury. Mathis came into his rookie year behind fellow Alabama D-tackle alums Payne and Jonathan Allen, and Payne used his contract year to score a monster payday — four years, $90MM — after receiving the franchise tag. The Commanders now have all three ex-Crimson Tide interior D-linemen signed for at least three more seasons. But Mathis’ career remains on pause.

Obada, 31, is dealing with a patella tendon injury, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets. He re-signed with the Commanders on a one-year, $2MM deal this offseason. The former Panthers and Bills edge defender is positioned to play behind the other two ex-first-rounders on a loaded Commanders D-line — Montez Sweat and Chase Young — but his season will start late as well. Obada caught on with Washington last year and registered four sacks. He joins Shaka Toney, whom the NFL handed a full-season gambling suspension, as auxiliary pass rushers out of the mix in Washington to start this season.

These transactions will allow for the re-signings of interior O-lineman Tyler Larsen and defensive tackle Abdullah Anderson. Both players were bumped off Washington’s roster when the team cut down to 53 on Tuesday. Larsen, who has made 11 starts for Washington over the past two years, had re-signed earlier this offseason. As a vested veteran, he passed through waivers and waited for the team to sort through some roster gymnastics. With Mathis and Obada off the roster, Washington will bring back the recently cut veterans.

Phidarian MathisEfe ObadaDaron PayneJonathan AllenMontez SweatChase YoungShaka ToneyTyler LarsenAbdullah Anderson