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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY sports
Washington wrapped increase their exercise week previously today, and also they announced that running ago Rob Kelley is cynical for Sunday’s game against the mountain Francisco 49ers. Unconvinced players are perceived as having actually a 25 percent possibility of playing, and also generally do not end up playing.

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Since Kelley is i can not qualify to play, I believed it would certainly be useful to learn much more about running backs Samaje Perine and also Chris Thompson. Washington drafted Perine together a permanent option, however he has struggled the end of the gate. He leads the team in rushing attempts, yet Thompson leads in yards every carry, while additionally leading the team in receptions and also yards.

I took a few minutes to chat 49ers-Washington with Hogs Haven writer Bill-in-Bangkok, and he available some insight into Perine and Thompson heading into this weekend.

I was among the many Washington fans that predicted, ~ the draft, the Samaje Perine would take over the role of lead back by mid-season.

I to be wrong. Barring lengthy term injury to plunder Kelley, it ain’t happening.

It looks choose Perine gets a start this week together Jay Gruden states Kelley’s injury is likely to keep him out. That way that Perine will be the command back against the 49ers, however unless he shows dramatic improvement, and against SF"s strong run defense that seems unlikely, I mean Kelley to take back the starter duty as shortly as he"s healthy.

Perine might still turn out to it is in a great NFL to run back, yet early top top he has looked uncomfortable running when Cousins has actually been under center; he runs much better when Washington is lined up in shotgun formation. The distinction is significant. The sample dimension is tiny this early on in his career, but in mainly 3 versus the Raiders for example, he obtained just 20 yards ~ above 10 carries v Cousins under center (2.0 YPC) and rushed because that 29 yards on ripe rushes the end of the shotgun (3.2 YPC). No one of those numbers are eye-popping, and also it’s clear the the rookie has actually a lot of of finding out to do prior to he is a viable NFL starting running back.

That discovering curve extends to an area that countless college running backs battle with – pass protection. Washington doesn’t want to put the health and wellness of our $24 million quarterback into the hand of a rookie who might misread a blocking assignment top top a blitz or a stunt.

Chris Thompson has grabbed the fist of NFL fans who didn’t understand who he was prior to this season – especially those through their eye on fantasy and also ‘real’ football – however nothing has adjusted in the method Washington supplies him; he has simply had an ext success this season.

Thompson is not, and also likely never ever will be, the lead ago in DC. He come in once it’s 2nd & long, or third down. CT is really part of the Washington happen game, and through four games has actually 20 rushes and 14 receptions. His runs are generally draws, counters and outside zone, usually v pulling lineman out in prior of him come pave the way. CT is a tiny back with substantial injury history, therefore Jay Gruden, who has declared several times the Thompson can’t hold up to a many hits, is very careful to border his snaps. He has no impact whatsoever ~ above Samaje Perine’s playing time.

Perine is contending for the lead back role in Washington, which way playing on first down, then remaining on the field as long as the offense continues to be ‘on schedule.’ That task belongs to plunder Kelley in ~ the moment.

So much this season, rob Kelley has looked like the far better back. Perine has actually lacked patience and explosion, and also -- after ~ fumbling once in the pre-season, and also losing a fumble in the Raiders game -- he was unable to handle a key from Cousins top top an external run against the Chiefs, dropping the ball, and losing yards in a vital situation.

Washington just cut former third-round choose Matt Jones, that was a solid runner, but who couldn’t cave onto the ball. Perine no going to acquire much playing time if that puts another round on the ground. In fact, the muffed lateral against the Chiefs might have currently been one mistake too many.

Washington has a fourth running back, Mack Brown, that is generally inactive on video game days, however who is a talented second year undrafted player. In the opinion of part fans (I’m among them), Mack Brown has actually looked like the finest player that the three (Kelley, Perine, Brown). Perine’s fourth round draft condition will save him ahead of Mack Brown because that a while, yet Gruden verified with Matt Jones that draft standing won’t protect a player forever. That’s why undrafted rob Kelley is ours lead earlier now.

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Perine requirements to learn exactly how to run efficiently when he’s no in the shotgun, he needs to develop patience and not run up the ago of his offensive linemen, he demands to build his happen protection, and show the he deserve to be trusted no to placed the sphere on the ground. In short, he has a lot come prove before he is anything other than Washington’s back-up running back.