September 22nd, 2021 at 2:27pm CST by Sam Robinson
With major injury issues at running back, the 49ers continue to bring in outside talent at the position. They are adding former Washington back Chris Thompson to their practice squad.
Thompson’s Washington stint lasted long enough he has a history with Kyle Shanahan. Washington drafted the pass-catching back in the 2013 fifth round, when the current 49ers HC remained Washington’s offensive coordinator. The eight-year veteran will now join the 49ers, who have seen injuries inject considerable uncertainty into their backfield.
Thompson, 30, spent last season with the Jaguars but did not factor into their offense much during James Robinson‘s standout rookie season. The 49ers are without Raheem Mostert for the rest of the season and have Jeff Wilson on the reserve/PUP list. Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon and JaMycal Hasty battling injuries. Mitchell and Hasty, who are respectively dealing with shoulder and ankle maladies, did not practice Wednesday. Sermon suffered a concussion in his NFL debut Sunday.
Washington used Thompson as its passing-down back for several years, with the Florida State product initially supplementing Alfred Morris before ending his D.C. career playing alongside Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guicein 2019. Thompson eclipsed 700 scrimmage yards in two seasons and earned an extension in 2017. The veteran backup auditioned for the Bears this week but will end up heading to San Francisco.
While Hayden hasn’t necessarily lived up to his 12th-overall selection in the 2013 draft, he’s still managed to put together an eight-year career. The veteran had spent the past three seasons in Jacksonville, but he bounced on and off injured reserve in 2020 while dealing with a hamstring injury. The 31-year-old ultimately saw time in five games, collecting 18 tackles.
The Bears struggled during their loss to the Rams, with slot corner Marqui Christian getting his fair share of the blame. The cornerback finished the game having allowed five catches (including two touchdowns) on six targets.
The Jaguars are set to sign Chris Thompson, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The deal will reunite the running back with his former head coach Jay Gruden, who now serves as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator.
When he was healthy, Thompson was a strong pass-catching specialist out of the backfield for the Redskins. And, in an admittedly limited sample size, he was effective on the ground, too.
The former fifth-round pick enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, his fifth year as a pro. That year, he caught 39 passes for 510 yards, good for 13.1 yards per grab. Unfortunately, that campaign ended in November, thanks to a fractured fibula. For his career, Thompson’s averaged 4.8 yards per tote, though he’s never logged more than 68 carries in any single season.
The Redskins liked him enough to give him a two-year, $7MM extension under Gruden’s watch and he’ll get a chance to work for him in Jacksonville. For now, the Jaguars are forging ahead with Leonard Fournette as their primary back; Thompson could be an option to spell him and keep defenders on their toes.
Linebacker Preston Smith is slated to be a free agent after the season, but the Redskins have yet to approach him about a new deal (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com). The Redskins have hammered out pre-season extensions with key players in the past such as Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, but Smith is still waiting on that call. For what it’s worth, Smith says he’s staying patient.
“You play good; they’re going to pay good,” said Smith, who matched a career-high with eight sacks last season.
If Smith is not signed to a new deal and can offer a repeat performance, he could be in store for riches in March. For now, the former second-round pick is set to play out the final year of his contract as he earns a modest $1.2MM base salary.
Here’s more from D.C.:
Redskins running backChris Thompson says he likely won’t be fully recovered from his broken fibula until November (Twitter link via Keim). Thompson has had a handful of surgeries in his career, but he says that this has been his most challenging recovery to date. Thompson suffered the broken leg last November, so he’s looking at a full year before being back to 100%. It’s a frustrating situation for Thompson, who was in the midst of a breakout campaign before being sidelined in 2017. Heading into Week 11, Thompson had posted 771 yards from scrimmage, a total that had already topped his previous career high, and was averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He was even more effective in the passing game, where he recorded 38 receptions for 494 yards.
Despite Jimmy Garoppolo entering his 49ers training camp, he’s not expected to receive an abnormal workload this preseason. Even though Kyle Shanahan has cited the time it takes for quarterbacks to become sufficiently assimilated in his system, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required) backup C.J. Beathard is likely to receive most of the reps during preseason games. The 49ers figure to have an ulterior motive by doing this, with Barrows writing San Francisco will want to trade Beathard for draft compensation at some point before his rookie contract expires. They will be intent on showcasing the 2017 third-rounder as much as possible as a result. The Iowa product completed 54.9 percent of his passes, with four TDs and six INTs, as a rookie before Garoppolo supplanted him as the Niners’ starter.
It’s camp-reporting week. Here’s the NFC’s latest:
Connor Barwinwill be counted on to be one of Olivier Vernon‘s sidekicks this season, but his Giants agreement is not merely a one-year pact. Barwin agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This will be Barwin’s fourth NFL team, with the Giants following the Texans, Eagles and Rams. A Pro Bowler with the 2014 Eagles, Barwin’s done his best work in 3-4 defenses — which the Giants will now use. Both of Barwin’s double-digit sack seasons (2011 and 2014) came in this set.
Chris Thompson said Monday he will avoid the Redskins‘ PUP list. Washington’s passing-down back broke one of his fibulas in November but has worked his way back. He’s expected to remain the Redskins’ receiving back. “I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Thompson said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via PFT). “I will start practicing with the guys from Day 1 but just taking it slowly. The focus is to really be ready by that first regular-season game.”
Kendell Beckwith will not, however, avoid the Buccaneers‘ PUP (Twitter link, via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com). The young linebacker fractured an ankle in a car accident in April and underwent surgery. The immediate timetable tabbed Beckwith as unclear for Week 1, while a summer update indicated he might be ready in time for camp. Beckwith won’t meet that goal, it appears, but it’s not certain if he’s going to miss all of Tampa Bay’s camp.
Despite being a newcomer and coming off an ACL tear, Cameron Meredith looks like the frontrunner to claim the Saints‘ No. 2 wide receiver job, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com notes. Playing with quarterbacks who aren’t in Drew Brees‘ stratosphere, Meredith caught 66 passes for 888 yards and four TDs in 2016. Third-round rookie Tre’Quan Smith may also be a threat to diminish Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman‘s playing time as well, per Katzenstein, though it’s hard to envision Ginn (53 receptions, 787 receiving yards last season) being squeezed out of a significant role. He’s owed $4.5MM this season.
November 19th, 2017 at 3:47pm CST by Dallas Robinson
Redskins running back Chris Thompson suffered a fractured fibula and will miss the remainder of the 2017 campaign, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
Thompson, 27, had been in the midst of a breakout campaign in his fifth NFL season. Heading into Week 11, Thompson had posted 771 yards from scrimmage, a total that had already topped his previous career high. He’d averaged 4.6 yards per carry on the ground, but was even more effective in the passing game, where’d he posted 38 receptions for 494 yards. All told, Thompson had managed five total touchdowns.
A former fifth-round pick, Thompson agreed to a contract extension earlier this year. The new pact will keep Thompson in Washington through the 2019 season, and will pay him $7MM+ over the next two years. Next season, Thompson will earn nearly $2MM in base salary and count for roughly $3.25MM on the Redskins’ cap.
Thompson will become the second Redskins’ running back to be placed on injured reserve in recent weeks, joining former starter Rob Kelley. Head coach Jay Gruden & Co. will now continue to lean on fourth-round rookie Samaje Perine, who handled 23 carries in today’s loss to the Saints. Byron Marshall, signed off the Eagles’ practice squad last week, will also contribute, while Washington could also promote rookie LeShun Daniels from its practice squad.
September 5th, 2017 at 9:56am CST by Zachary Links
The Redskins have signed running back Chris Thompson to a two-year extension, a source tells Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post (on Twitter). Thompson is now under contract through the 2019 season. He’ll earn $6.5MM guaranteed over the course of the extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The pass-catching specialist was a restricted free agent this year and the Redskins retained him via the second-round tender. He’ll earn $2.74MM for 2017 before the new deal kicks in.
The 2013 fifth-round pick has spent his entire four-year career with the Redskins. Last year he turned in what was arguably his most productive season with career-highs in carries (68), rushing yards (356), and rushing touchdowns (three). He continued to make his mark in the passing game as well, catching 49 passes for 349 yards and two TDs. Thompson’s 489 offensive snaps were the most of any Redskins running back.
Rob Kelley will be the Redskins’ primary back this year, but Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine also expected to see significant playing time.
Chris Thompson will be returning to the Redskins next season. The team announced that the restricted free agent running back has signed a new contract, although terms of the deal were not reported.
This isn’t particularly surprising, as the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets with rival clubs was yesterday. Therefore, Thompson essentially had no other choice but to sign Washington’s tender. The Redskins applied a second-round tender to Thompson back in March, which was estimated to be worth $2.74MM.
The 2013 fifth-round pick has spent his entire four-year career with the Redskins. 2016 was arguably his most productive campaign, as he collected career-highs in attempts (68), rushing yards (356), and rushing touchdowns (three). The versatile weapons has also shown to be a threat in the passing game, as he hauled in 49 catches for 349 yards and two scores last season. Thompson ultimately finished the year with 489 offensive snaps, the most among Redskins running backs.
Besides being a threat in the running and receiving game, the Redskins have also used Thompson as a return man. The 26-year-old has returned 33 career punts and 28 career kickoffs.