Jay Gruden: “We are pretty good at the running back spot”

AP

Washington has lost rookie running back Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. Plenty of veteran running backs are available, but it doesn’t sound as if the team will be going in that direction.

“[H]e was sixth string on the depth chart, you know?” coach Jay Gruden told reporters on Saturday. “We have guys in here [that can] play, we drafted Derrius because he’s the best player we thought at the time of the draft. We thought he could really help our football team not because we weren’t satisfied with the backs we had. We thought he would be a heck of a player for us. So, with Rob [Kelley] and Samaje [Perine], and what Byron [Marshall] did the other night, the flashes he showed off and obviously Chris Thompson, Kapri Bibbs had a couple big hits. I think we are pretty good at the running back spot.”

Of course, that could simply be something Gruden is saying in order to make it easier to sign a veteran or trade for someone who can come in and help move the chains. Regardless, they expected Guice to do big things, and now they don’t have him.

“Well, he is an explosive player, you know?” Gruden said. “He brought what we didn’t really know about him because he didn’t do it a lot at LSU was his hands, his catching ability, his pass blocking skills were pretty darn good. He picked up a safety blitz in the game the other night. So we were impressed with his total package, not just his running skills but we will continue to be impressed, he will be stronger when he comes back than he is now. And we’ll move on with Samaje [Perine], Rob [Kelley], and Chris [Thompson], and Byron [Marshall], and Kapri [Bibbs]. . . . They are competitive guys, they want to be great and [running backs coach] Randy [Jordan] is going to coach them up and then I’ll decide who the guys are on game day.”

Of course, this plan assumes that further injuries won’t happen. Even if they stand pat at this point, Washington could be one more injury away from finding another running back, wherever they can find one.