Washington coach Jay Gruden commented Saturday that the Redskins will not sign a free agent running back to make up for the absence of rookie Derrius Guice suffered a torn ACL in the preseason game against the New England Patriots on Thursday night.
Guice, a second-round draft pick out of LSU, was officially placed on injured reserve Saturday.
“We’re OK. He was sixth string on the depth chart,” Gruden said Saturday in jest about the Redskins’ initial preseason depth chart. “We have guys here that can play. We drafted Derrius because he was the best player we thought at the time of the draft, and we thought he could really help our football team, not because we weren’t satisfied with the backs we have.
“We thought he’d be a heck of a player for us. With Rob (Kelley) and Samajie (Perine) and what Byron (Marshall) did the other night, the flashes he showed, and obviously Chris Thompson, Kapri Bibbs had a couple big hits. I think we’re pretty good at the running back spot.”
Following Guice’s injury there was speculation the Redskins might entertain bringing in a veteran such as Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles or former Redskin Alfred Morris — all who are eligible free agents.
Thompson projects as the multi-dimensional passing-down back for Gruden. With Guice out, Kelley and Perine will battle for early-down snaps. The Redskins also have Marshall, Bibbs and undrafted rookie Martez Carter on the depth chart.
The Redskins planned for Guice to get plenty of carries complementing Thompson as a between-the-tackles running back.
“We’re obviously very upset for Derrius,” Gruden said. “He’s put a lot of work in and a (had) a very promising rookie season ahead of him. But unfortunately, these injuries happen. He’s a great kid, he’s going to work hard, he’ll recover, so there’s no problem there. We’re disappointed for Derrius. We had high hopes for him and what he’d do for this football team and what he’d accomplish his rookie year.”