Derrius Guice is dealing with another injury. According to Erin Hawksworth of 106.7 The Fan (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com), the running back recently suffered a hamstring injury. The ailment may force him to miss the start of training camp, although it sounds like Guice has already had several weeks to recover from this setback.
The 2018 second-rounder was expected to lead the Redskins rushing attack as a rookie, but he missed the entire campaign after suffering a torn ACL during the preseason. It sounds like Guice had made progress in his recovery, and he was expected to be good to go for the start of the 2019 season. While this recent hamstring injury isn’t welcomed, it doesn’t sound like Guice’s comeback will be compromised.
The running back had a standout career at LSU, rushing for 2,638 yards and 26 touchdowns over his final two seasons. The Redskins were hoping for more of the same from Guice once he reached the NFL, although the 22-year-old no longer has as clear of a path to 15-20 carries per game. The Redskins will return the majority of their running backs from last season, including AdrianPeterson, ChrisThompson, and SamajePerine. The team also selected Stanford running back Bryce Love in the fourth round of this year’s draft.
The Redskins’ backfield situation didn’t go as planned last year. The team drafted Derrius Guice in the second round to be their starter, but then Guice tore his ACL in the preseason. They ended up signing Adrian Peterson at the last minute, and he unexpectedly became the team’s workhorse. Peterson played well all things considered, but noticeably wore down toward the end of the year and won’t be expected to handle the same workload in 2019. Guice had some complications while recovering from his injury, but is expected to be fully recovered soon.
Guice is the much younger player who would appear to have more upside, but don’t count out Peterson yet. Speaking after a recent minicamp practice, Redskins running backs coach Randy Jordan said he envisions a 50-50 or 60-40 split between the two backs this season, per Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post. Washington was depleted by injuries last year, and getting Guice back is a great step in the right direction. Assuming they end up starting Dwayne Haskins at quarterbackthey’ll need a strong running game to help take some of the load off, and a Guice/Peterson partnership has the potential to be one of the league’s better backfields.
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With Haskins and Guice now in the fold, the Redskins’ offense is going to look a lot different next year. They won’t be the changes, as second-year receiver Trey Quinn is coming back from an injury of his own. A seventh round pick out of SMU last year, injuries limited Quinn to just three games as a rookie. He’s reportedly been a standout this offseason though, and the team is very high on him. Speaking to the media recently, Redskins coach Jay Gruden declared him a starter. “Trey Quinn has taken over the inside slot role,” Gruden said, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports. Quinn must’ve been really impressive in practices for the coaching staff to have this much confidence in him. After Jamison Crowder left in free agency the Redskins were left with a hole in the slot, and they’re apparently comfortable with Quinn filling it.
Mike Remmers signed with the Giants last month, and is widely expected to be their starting right tackle in 2019. The offseason back surgery he underwent was initially deemed minor, but Remmers didn’t participate at all during OTAs or minicamp, according to Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. Remmers apparently isn’t fully healthy, and Dunleavy thinks there’s a chance Chad Wheeler will take advantage of the opportunity to keep the starting job. Wheeler, a 2017 UDFA, was the starter for most of last season, but played poorly. Remmers is still the favorite, but if he can’t get back soon he might end up losing the job.
In the same piece, Dunleavy also breaks down the Giants’ situation at receiver beyond Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. Shepard and Tate are locked in as the top two options, but there’s not much clarity after that. Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler both operated as the third receiver last season, but Dunleavy thinks Corey Coleman is the favorite for that role in 2019. Dunleavy writes that Coleman showed well in recent practices, as “Latimer started the offseason with the upper hand and Coleman finished with the edge.” A 2016 first round pick of the Browns, Coleman has had a bumpy road in the pros. The Browns, Patriots, and Bills have all given up on the Baylor product, but it looks like he could make a home for himself in New York.
The Redskins selected Stanford running back Bryce Love in the fourth round of the 2019 draft yesterday, and running back Derrius Guice — whom Washington drafted in the second round last year — promptly tweeted out a nonplussed emoji that drew plenty of attention on the NFL Network’s draft coverage. Guice later said his tweet was not a response to the Love selection at all, but regardless of his thoughts on the matter, the pick does set up an interesting dynamic in the team’s RB room.
Guice, of course, tore his ACL last August, thereby ending his rookie campaign before it started. There was a report in December that his recovery had hit a snag, though he was said to be sprinting at full-speed in February. The last we heard, Guice was aiming for a training camp return, and as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote this morning, head coach Jay Gruden expects the LSU product to be back prior to the start of training camp. Gruden also refuted the December report that Guice’s rehab was delayed, and he added that the Love selection is no reflection on Guice.
Gruden said, “[The Love pick] is no reflection of anybody. We just got an opportunity to draft one heck of a player with an unbelievable production at a big-time school.”
Love entered his final collegiate season as a potential Heisman candidate after a tremendous junior year, but he put together an underwhelming campaign before tearing his ACL in December. There has been some chatter that Love could redshirt his rookie season in Washington as he continues to recover, but Love himself said he plans to be ready to go by the middle of training camp.
That is probably a little ambitious, and Love may very well spend the entire season the PUP list. But if he is ready to suit up at some point this year, it would create a logjam in Washington. The team is also rostering Adrian Peterson — who signed a two-year pact in March — Chris Thompson, and Samaje Perine. As Florio notes, one or more of those players will be on the move when Love is ready to go.
Linked for more than a year now, Earl Thomas and the Cowboys could be a match soon. Thomas seems certain to hit the market, and the Cowboys offered a second-round pick for him last year. It would only take money to bring Thomas to Dallas this year, but the sides may not be as strong of a match. The Cowboys hold nearly $50MM in cap space, but a big chunk of that will likely go to another DeMarcus Lawrence franchise tag. Other funds will be earmarked for extensions for several young talents. The Cowboys could use safety help, but Albert Breer of SI.com does not get the vibe the organization will be ready to shell out top-end safety money to bring Thomas to Dallas.
On the eve of the franchise tag window opening, here is the latest from the NFC East:
More evidence for the Eli Manning-will-be-back noise: the 15-year Giants quarterback has been working out at the team facility throughout the offseason, Breer notes. While this is not unusual, as Manning does this annually, his conditioning headquarters may have shifted had the Giants given him an indication they were legitimately considering moving on from him. Although nothing concrete has emerged on this front yet, Manning remaining the starter is the expectation for 2019.
The Redskins have experienced some significant trouble with infections lately, with the respective recoveries of Alex Smith and Derrius Guice delayed because of post-surgery complications. Guice’s road back from a torn ACL was sidetracked by two months, but the running back is now sprinting full speed again. The LSU product revealed in a first-person recovery diary for the Redskins’ website (via J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington) he has yet to cut at full speed, though. Training camp, and not OTAs, may be the goal, Finlay points out. That would not be a surprise given how quickly Guice went down last year.
With the Broncos completing a trade for Joe Flacco — a move the Redskins explored — might Washington attempt to pursue Case Keenum? Washington’s financial obligations seem likely to prevent that, Finlay writes. Smith and Colt McCoy combine for nearly $25MM of Washington’s cap space, and Finlay expects Keenum — even in the event Denver releases him — to command a high-end backup deal. Chase Daniel‘s accord averages $5MM per year, and Keenum’s 2017 season would seemingly make him likely to surpass that. However, if Washington won’t pay a high-seven-figure sum for a veteran on Keenum’s level, pursuing Teddy Bridgewater would be difficult. If the Redskins are to chase a veteran to start over McCoy, they will likely have to at least enter high-end backup spending territory.
Although Jason Kelce said immediately after the Eagles‘ divisional-round loss he was considering retirement, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia gets the sense the All-Pro center is leaning toward returning for 2019. Kelce is only 31 and may have another contract to come. But for now, he’s attached to an Eagles-friendly deal that has him making $6.5MM salary. No guaranteed money remains on Kelce’s deal, which he signed in February 2014.
After surgery, Guice developed an infection that lasted two months and required three separate procedures to address the compromised tissue. During this time, he had to stay close to orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in Florida rather than being with his teammates in D.C.
“It really sucks, man,” Guice said. “Everywhere you go, you either have people asking how your knee is, how your rehab is going . . . or asking why you’re in Louisiana. ‘Why are you not with your team?’”
Because of the setback, Guice is unsure about when he’ll be able to resume football activities. He hopes to be ready by the time the Redskins’ organized team activities begin in early summer, but there are no guarantees.
Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice tore his ACL, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). An ACL tear is an automatic season-ender, so the Redskins will be placing Guice on injured reserve in the coming days. Same goes for tight end Manasseh Garner, who also suffered an ACL tear in Thursday night’s exhibition game against the Patriots.
It was initially believed that Guice had suffered an MCL sprain, but further tests revealed a much more serious issue. It’s a crushing injury for Guice, who was in line to be the club’s top rusher this year. Considered by some the second-best back in this year’s draft, the LSU product fell largely because of character concerns. However, Guice averaged 7.6 yards per carry in 2016 on nearly 200 attempts and the Redskins were thrilled to land him late in the second round.
However, the running back position produces annual mid- or late-round surprises — from Devonta Freeman to Jordan Howard to Kareem Hunt — that end up providing immense value to certain teams. The Giants obviously have an incredibly gifted ball-carrier set to take handoffs from Eli Manning, but which of Barkley’s peers is in the best position to challenge him (and the quarterback contingent) for the OROY honor?
The other two first-round RBs look to be less equipped for a strong challenge due to circumstances.
Sony Michel‘s prospects of being an immediate ground producer may have been better on a different team. While the Patriots boast one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, Bill Belichick notoriously finds myriad usages for his backs and involves nearly all of them. Although, Dion Lewis‘ departure after a 180-carry season opens the door for someone to take over as New England’s primary back. And Michel averaged 7.9 yards per carry on 156 totes at Georgia last season. Rashaad Penny looks to be behind Chris Carsonto start the season, and the surprise first-rounder may be given time to develop for a Seattle team that’s struggled on the ground for a few years now.
After Round 1, however, it becomes a bit more interesting. The Buccaneers did not possess a formidable depth chart at running back prior to investing their second-round pick in USC’s Ronald Jones. In 2017, Jones rushed for 1,550 yards and scored 20 total touchdowns. He could well be an early-season starter, with the likes of Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber in his path toward a first-string role. Chosen just before Jones, Nick Chubb will have to contend with Carlos Hyde in Cleveland this season for the revamped Browns. Chubb, though, notched three 1,000-yard seasons in the nation’s toughest conference.
Kerryon Johnson looks to be set to start in a committee in Detroit, but the Lions have been desperate for a surefire ground producer for years now. And they view Johnson as a three-down back. LeGarrette Blount and Ameer Abdullah reside in the Motor City carries picture, but neither would impede Johnson from a major role if he proves ready from the outset. Derrius Guice could have a quicker path to playing time in Washington. Considered by some the second-best back in this draft, the LSU product fell largely because of character concerns. However, Guice averaged 7.6 yards per carry in 2016 on nearly 200 attempts and is expected to push for the Redskins’ starting job from the start.
Also expected to challenge for an early role: the Broncos’ Royce Freeman. The Oregon-developed talent posted three 1,300-plus-yard seasons with the Ducks, amassing a staggering 947 college carries. With the Broncos having moved on from four-year starter C.J. Anderson, only Devontae Booker (299 rushing yards last season) resides in the third-rounder’s path. Is he a threat to be the 2018 version of Hunt?
As for Barkley, he has the most obvious route to a full-time gig. Despite Jonathan Stewart now being in the Big Apple, the Penn State dynamo will factor in from the start of the Giants’ season. And the three-down back totaled at least 2,300 yards from scrimmage in back-to-back years for the Nittany Lions. The Giants have questions up front, having lost Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, but they added multiple UFAs — spearheaded by Nate Solder — and chose likely Day 1 starter Will Hernandez in Round 2.
So, will Barkley’s situation be too much for the rest of this class to overcome, a la Ezekiel Elliott? Or will one of the later-round picks emerge in Hunt fashion? Is there a Day 3 dark horse in this year’s class in the mold of Freeman or Howard? Take PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!
If rookie Derrius Guice isn’t the Redskins‘ starting running back in Week 1, consider Washington’s backfield a surprise, per John Keim of ESPN.com. Guice was expected to be selected in the first round of the 2018 draft, but off-field concerns ultimately forced him into Day 2. While he’s never been involved in any legal trouble, Guice has been labeled as “immature,” and his pre-draft visit with the Eagles was reportedly the worst such meeting Philadelphia had ever taken with a prospect. All that aside, Guice has landed in an intriguing spot, and should easily be able to beat out the likes of Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine for early-down work in the nation’s capital. Passing downs still belongs to Chris Thompson, who registered 54 catches in 2017 before going down with fractured fibula.
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Bears running back Tarik Cohen managed 53 receptions during his rookie season in 2017, and his role could grow even larger during his sophomore NFL campaign, as Cohen told The Jim Rome Show that Chicago’s new offensive staff has been lining him up all over the field. “It’s similar to some of the stuff I did in college,” Cohen said, according to Madeline Kinney of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I feel like like if I can take the football, he (new head coach Matt Nagy) also wants me to take the football, too. So how many plays he has me at — I’ve been everywhere. It’s been crazy.” For what it’s worth, Nagy has reportedly already indicated Jordan Howard will be the Bears’ “main guy” in the backfield, as he well should be after posting 1,000+ yard rushing seasons in each of his first two NFL seasons. But Nagy and new offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will likely deploy Cohen as a satellite back, as he’s far more capable in the passing game than is Howard.
2017 second-round pick Raekwon McMillan was pegged to become the Dolphins‘ starting middle linebacker in his rookie campaign, but a torn ACL ended his first NFL season before it began. Still, Miami brass — including defensive coordinator Matt Burke — still views McMillan as an important part of the club’s defense going forward, as Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post writes. “We had high hopes for him last year,” Burke said. “Nothing he’s done since then has discouraged that. … He’s been really in-tune, been really sharp. He’s got all the leadership skills and things that we look for, especially at that position. He’s worked his ass off to get better. He’s rehabbed. He’s in here every day. He hasn’t shown any limitations so far, which has been encouraging. Hopefully he’s a big piece for us.” The Dolphins cut veteran ‘backer Lawrence Timmons earlier this year, so McMillan appears set to play as an every-down linebacker alongside Kiko Alonso. McMillan, an Ohio State product, participated in Miami’s organized team activity sessions in May, a good sign of his progress.
Approximately six teams were vying to sign undrafted running back Akrum Wadley earlier this year, but the Iowa product ultimately landed with the Titans, where he now could land a spot on the club’s opening 53-man roster, writes Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. Tennessee only made four selections in the 2018 draft, necessitating its large — 22-man — undrafted free agent class. Wadley was part of that crop, and now he’s one of only five backs on the team, joining Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry, David Fluellen, and fellow UDFA Dalyn Dawkins. As such, it’s entirely possible Wadley could beat out Fluellen for the Titans’ third running back job, although he’ll likely need to flash on special teams to do so. Wadley topped 1,000 yards rushing in each of his two final collegiate seasons, and totaled 64 receptions during those years.
Offensive tackle Kyle Murphy showed well in three games as a Packers‘ starter in 2017, but he’s now attempting to come back from a foot injury that cost him the remainder of the season, as Mike Spofford of Packers.com details. Murphy, a 2016 sixth-round pick, was fully cleared for minicamp, and now could have a legitimate chance to start on the right side of Green Bay’s front five. Bryan Bulaga, the Packers’ nominal right tackle, is once again dealing with injuries of his own, and if he’s not medically cleared, right tackle will turn into a competition between Murphy, former second-rounder Jason Spriggs, and veteran addition Byron Bell. As a unit, Green Bay’s offensive line ranked fifth in run-blocking but just 28th in pass-blocking, per Football Outsiders.
Like most years, the success of the 2018 Packers will depend on the health of Aaron Rodgers. But unlike last year, who the Packers might turn to if Rodgers were to go down isn’t clear. The team was reportedly high on Brett Hundley, and was seen by most around the league as having some trade value before he was forced into action when Rodgers broke his collarbone last year. Hundley struggled mightily across nine starts, throwing for just nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a dismal 5.8 yards per attempt.
The Packers showed their dissatisfaction with Hundley by trading forDeShone Kizer this offseason. Now the once hot commodity finds himself in a battle just for his roster spot. The Packers’ upcoming three day minicamp is expected to be a big development in the battle for the backup quarterback spot, according to Michael Cohen of Packers News. Cohen notes that Hundley is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and will have to show out this summer in order for the Packers to bring him back next year, especially with Kizer waiting in the wings.
With Rodgers expected to be excused from the minicamp, Cohen states that Hundley is “expected to take the majority of first-team reps” but that Kizer “will have ample opportunity to show his progress.” Whatever happens, it’ll be an interesting situation to keep an eye on as Kizer seeks to revive his career in Green Bay.
Here’s more from around the NFC:
Cohen reports that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is expected to be in attendance for the mandatory minicamp. The 2014 first-rounder is heading into the final year of his rookie contract after the Packers exercised his fifth-year option last year. Clinton-Dix has missed all of OTAs for undisclosed reasons.
The Rams are uncertain whether or not Aaron Donald will show up for their mandatory minicamp, which starts tomorrow, according to Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. Donald is angling for a contract extension that will make him the league’s highest paid defensive player as he enters the last year of his rookie deal. Donald held out of all of training camp and ended up missing the first game of the season last year due to unhappiness with his contract, although he did show up to minicamp last year to avoid being fined.
The Redskins coaching staff “loves what they’ve seen” from Derrius Guice this offseason, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. Breer says “murky rumors” are the only reason Guice fell to the Redskins in the second round of this year’s draft, and that the Redskins think they got a great value. The Redskins have a crowded running back room, but Breer thinks Guice “should be a factor” in his rookie season.