- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

ASHBURN — One of the feel-good stories of last year’s training camp won’t end the same way this season. 

The Washington Commanders placed tight end Sammis Reyes on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his chance of making the team’s initial 53-man roster. A year ago, the Chile native turned heads when he made Washington’s roster despite having never played in an organized football game before that season.  Reyes, a former college basketball player turned tight end, signed with Washington out of the NFL’s International Pathway Program (IPP) in April 2021. 

Reyes, the first Chilean-born NFL player, landed on the injured list after suffering a hamstring injury in this year’s training camp. The tight end played only two special team snaps in Saturday’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, and Rivera said Monday that Reyes was dealing with a “slight” hamstring pull.

Reyes was one of five roster moves the Commanders made Tuesday as the team had to cut down from 90 players to 85 under league rules. In addition to Reyes, Washington placed fullback Alex Armah on injured reserve and released safety Troy Apke, cornerback De’Vante Bausby and guard Deion Calhoun. (Defensive lineman David Bada does not count toward Washington‘s total as he’s part of the IPP.)

Of those additional moves, Apke’s release is the most notable as the former 2018 fourth-rounder spent four seasons in Washington and emerged as a valuable special teams contributor. But Apke had been sidelined for most of camp with an unspecified injury, allowing other players to emerge in his place. 

As for Reyes, it’s yet to be seen whether the tight end’s season is over. Traditionally, players who land on injured reserve before the start of the season can’t return to their team that year. But under league rules,  Washington has the next week to reach a potential injury settlement with Reyes — which would then force the Commanders to release him.

In that scenario, Washington could theoretically bring Reyes back — but only after he misses three regular-season games plus the number of regular-season games covered by his injury settlement. 

If no settlement is reached, Reyes will continue to rehab with Washington.

Rivera declined to say whether the Commanders had plans for bringing Reyes back this season. The 26-year-old appeared in 11 games last year, making one start. 

“Those are all things that we’re working through,” Rivera said. “You know, we have a few guys that we put on IR and we have to work through certain situations with them all.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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