The Redskins want to hand Derrius Guice a big role in their rushing attack, but his latest injury should give Jay Gruden and his coaching staff pause.
Derrius Guice generated a lot of buzz during his 2018 preseason for the Redskins. Unfortunately, he lost his entire rookie campaign due to injury. Officials in Washington hoped that the former LSU star would enjoy an injury-free sophomore season.
The running back’s hopes of playing a full 16-game schedule in 2019 have already taken a serious hit. Reports from Washington now claim that Guice might miss the start of training camp with a hamstring injury. The malady isn’t thought to be too serious, but Redskins officials should be concerned about their ability to count on Guice moving forward.
In the short-term, Gruden and company can return to their reliance on veteran Adrian Peterson to handle the lion’s share of the team’s rushing attempts. That might work for the Redskins this season, but it’s not a long-term plan for success in the nation’s capitol. Washington needs to transition Peterson’s workload to a younger back in the very near future.
There’s no question Guice has the talent to be a featured back in Gruden’s offense. He was electric for the Redskins during the 2018 preseason. His coaching staff firmly believed that he had a chance to be a major contributor in his rookie campaign. Guice’s torn ACL was the first in a series of bad breaks the Redskins endured last season.
It’s time for the team to panic over Guice’s durability, but the fact that he’s picked up another leg injury before training camp even begins is not a positive by any stretch of the imagination. Guice’s inability to stay healthy could easily push the Washington front office to give an extended look to the other young running backs on the roster. Players like Samaje Perine, Bryce Love and Chris Thompson could all benefit from any missed time from Guice.
At this point, it’s fair for the Redskins coaching staff to start wondering whether they can count on Guice to be their No. 1 running back moving forward. Availability is a very valuable skill in the NFL. To date, it’s not something that’s been a feature of Guice’s game.