Washington's ‘Next Men Up' Against the Steelers Could Be Critical Against 49ers

Logan Thomas and Cam Sims praised for near 100-yard performances

Cam Sims catches a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field Dec. 7.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Washington Football Team’s defense received high praise after their huge Monday night win against the then-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, and rightfully so. However, with Antonio Gibson going down with turf toe in only his second rush of the game and Terry McLaurin being held to only two targets for 14 yards, the Washington offense needed to put points on the board after being down 14-0 late in the second quarter.

Alex Smith eventually got the offense in a rhythm to start the comeback, and tight end Logan Thomas and wide receiver Cam Sims played huge roles in bringing the offense back to life, both nearly tallying 100 yards receiving and a pair of one-handed catches for style points.

Thomas, who played quarterback in college, has seemed to find a home in Washington. Being utilized to his full potential as a dual-threat player has put some of his highlights under the national spotlight lately. Take his 28-yard throw to Terry McLaurin against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving night for instance. This time he did it the traditional way, catching nine passes for 98 yards and a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“He’s got the skillset in terms of speed, quickness,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “He’s got the smarts because he’s a former quarterback. He understands the game. When you watch him, which we did, you feel this guy hasn’t played a lot. But when he does play, he looks pretty good. Well, Pete [Hoener, tight ends coach] felt he was just scratching the surface. Sometime during training camp, you could see he was getting it. But each game he does something that makes you go: ‘Wow,’ and just feel that this guy is developing and going to be the type of tight end we’re looking for.”

Third-year receiver Cam Sims has had an up-and-down 2020 campaign, but while Pittsburgh put their focus on McLaurin, it opened the field for their second-string wideout. Sims caught a career-high five passes for 92 yards and made the play of the day by snagging in the one-handed catch on a 3rd and 4 when the game was tied late in the fourth quarter. His catch set up what would be the go-ahead field goal that gave Washington the lead. The catch also had the Washington bench very hype on the sidelines.

After the game, Rivera awarded Sims the game ball for his standout performance.

Continuity is everything, and Washington has honed the “next man up” mentality all year long. If they want to keep this win streak alive, they will have to adapt yet again with their leading rusher out against the 49ers.


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Currently, Washington is tied with the New York Giants for the division’s top spot. With New York owning the tiebreaker, Washington must continue their hot streak because the Giants are on one of their own.

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