Former Steelers wide receiver James Washington is still having trouble making an impact. Will he ever have his breakout moment?
Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington maybe with the Dallas Cowboys nowadays, but a change of scenery doesn’t always promise a change of circumstances.
During his time in the black and yellow, Washington held a heavy backseat to fellow receivers Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Despite him showing several glimpses of potential, such a hierarchy saw little change. As a result, it felt as if he was never given a true chance to cement himself as a worthy talent.
Realizing this surely played a role in Washington’s eventual relocation from Pittsburgh to Dallas, and it’s hard to blame him for that. He wanted more targets, and preferably from a better team; what else should a still-young talent look for?
But while the Cowboys may currently be in better shape to succeed when compared to that of the Steelers, are they really the best ones to give Washington the playtime that he desires?
Similarly to Pittsburgh, Dallas already has an established receiving corps, headlined by names such as CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup—when healthy, that is.
In other words, it’s fair to assume that the best gig James Washington would get under normal circumstances would be the WR3 slot (at least until further notice). Ultimately, how much better could that possibly be for him as an individual player?
Could Washington get a lucky break with Gallup’s ACL concerns?
It’s a rather cold thought to consider, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t valid; the NFL is a business, and if a player cannot perform, then his team will merely find someone who can in the meantime.
The aforementioned Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup is currently rehabilitating from an ACL tear that he suffered late last season, and it has already been confirmed that he will not participate in Dallas’s season opener.
While an ACL tear is one of the most daunting injuries that a football player can endure and I wish Gallup a speedy recovery, the uncertainty surrounding his reliability could nonetheless give Washington a chance to make a stronger impact than originally anticipated, right? Normally yes, but with Washington’s luck? Of course not.
On Monday, it was reported that James Washington suffered a foot fracture, guaranteeing that he will be out of commission for the next six weeks at the absolute least.
In short, by the time he is back and ready to roll, Gallup will be extremely close to making his own return, assuming that he has not already made it.
So to recap, James Washington—an outstanding receiver while at Oklahoma State, who has managed to catch and keep the attention of iconic NFL franchises—is still, for one reason or another, waiting on his big break multiple seasons into his professional career. If he doesn’t see it soon, then one can only imagine if he ever will.