WASHINGTON D.C., DC — The Washington Commanders solidified their 53-man roster for the 2022-23 season. One player listed on the final roster is safety Jeremy Reaves. This was the first time Reaves made an NFL roster after training camp and the first person he wanted to celebrate with was his mother. "That was the first person I thought about when I saw [the roster]. I know she's proud of me."
Reaves mother, Rose, passed away on Thanksgiving Day last year. After Reaves found out he made the team, he posted a message on Twitter saying, "I just never quit. That's all. I know you're dancing in heaven momma. We finally did it."
Reaves has been in the NFL for five years. He was cut four times, one with the Philadelphia Eagles and three with Washington.
For Reaves to find out that he will be a part of the Commanders' roster when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11, he couldn't hold back the tears.
"I cried a lot," said Reaves. "I called my Dad, we cried together. I called my sister, we cried together. I even called my trainer and we cried. It's been such a long wrong. It's indescribable"
There have been a lot of 'nos' and 'not yets' in Jeremy Reaves' career.
In 2017, Reaves was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year at South Alabama. In 2018, as an undrafted free agent, Reaves signed with the Eagles. He would later get cut at the end of his first preseason.
Washington would sign Reaves to the practice squad almost two weeks later and promoted him to the active roster in December.
Reaves would make his NFL debut on Dec. 22, 2018, against the Tennessee Titans. However, the next season, Washington waived him before the season started. Numerous times, Reaves would get re-signed, promoted to the active roster, and then waived again. At one point Reaves thought about quitting.
However, Reaves says he kept his head down and never lost faith in himself. What Reaves realized was that football was therapeutic for him after losing his mom.
"I cried today not because I made the 53. I cried because I miss my mom."
This is the third season Commanders' Head Coach Ron Rivera has coached Reaves. “He earned it and I’m very proud of him. I told him I said, just so you know, I’m very proud of the fact that you made this team," said Rivera. "We were sitting down and all of these coaches felt that this guy came, played, did the things that he needed to do, showed us what he is capable of. He is a guy that earned his spot. I’m very proud of him.”
The Washington Commanders will host the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedEx Field on Sept. 11.
Reaves can't wait for that moment.
"I've been waiting for this moment since I got in the league. I'm going to be locked in and having fun because this is the moment I've been waiting for."
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