by Chuck Carroll

LANDOVER, Md. (CBSDC) — The first half of Thursday’s preseason finale afforded bubble players an opportunity to showcase their ability and perhaps, win over coaches an earn a coveted spot on the 53-man roster.

Robert Griffin III and the majority of Washington Redskins starters were given the night off.

Chief among Washington’s bubble players is Brandon Banks who was told must make the team as a wide receiver this season. The speedy, undersized fan-favorite did little to impress in offensively, however.

Banks dropped critical pass near the end zone in the first quarter. Kirk Cousins’ pass was slightly behind him, but the Kansas State product managed to get two hands on the ball.

Banks did not play much offensively in last Saturday’s contest against the Indianapolis Colts, but was being given a thorough evaluation on Wednesday.

As a returner, he flashed moments of promise, but muffed a punt with no defenders around midway through the second quarter.

He had returns of 15, 22, 18 and zero yards, respectively.

Anthony Armstrong, who has fallen down the depth chart since his breakout season in 2010, recorded two catches for 61 yards in the first half. His 46-yard grab on a Cousins deep pass set Washington up to score their first touchdown of the night three plays later.

Defensively, Doug Worthington continued to play with power. The 25-year-old Ohio State product routinely dominated Tampa lineman.

However, Kedric Golston, who is firmly ahead of him on the depth chart, also played decently, recording a sack.

Newly signed place kicker Billy Cundiff successfully connected on kicks of 39 and 27 yards before pushing a 46-yard attempt wide right in the closing minutes of the half, which drew loud boos from the stands. He also added a chip-shot 22-yarder to close the half.

Evan Royster showed no signs of the knee injury that sidelined him recently. The second-year running back carried the ball 10 times for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Kirk Cousins finished the half 12-of-22 for 151 yards.


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