Injuries seem to follow the Washington Redskins with every move they make. Last year the Skins season was hampered by numerous injuries to key players like Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed. This year seems to be no different. During Thursday’s preseason game against the New England Patriots, newly drafted running back Derrius Guice tore his left ACL. He will not return this season.
The injury came in Guice’s first time suiting up, but the hype surrounding Guice and what he could do for Washington’s offense was evident. He was supposed to be the Skins new power back, the guy who would transform the Washington attack from a single threat air-based scheme to a more balanced, two-headed monster of an offense. Unfortunately, that will have to wait for another day as the heartbreaking blow to Guice raises the question:
What are the Redskins going to do now?
The only thing they can do is turn to the likes of Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine. Perine should be the starter heading into week 1. He’s coming off a rookie season where he played every game and rushed for 603 yards and averaged 3.4 yards per carry.
Kelley could make a serious push for that role as well. “Fat Rob” has shown that he can be an impactful rusher when he’s healthy, and it will be intriguing to see who gets most of the carries between him, Perine and Thompson.
The Skins will probably utilize Chris Thompson as more of a receiving back as they did last year in his breakout season, but this doesn’t mean he won’t get his touches. In 10 games with the Skins in 2017, Thompson averaged 4.6 yards per carry and rushed for 294 yards in 64 attempts. Not to mention his explosive game against the Los Angeles Rams in week 2 or his 150 receiving yard game against the Oakland Raiders. His value as a playmaker cannot be overlooked.
Nonetheless, one of the backs is going to have to step up big this year. The Skins had an abysmal running game last year, and having your passing game shouldering too much of the offensive load leads to predictability and struggles.
One can only hope that a veteran quarterback like Alex Smith can work past this unfortunate series of events and help the young Skins backs develop and produce more than they did last year.