ESPN expecting a good season for Redskins running back Derrius Guice
Derrius Guice was poised for stardom as a rookie before suffering a season-ending knee injury during the preseason. Almost a full year later, fully recovered from a torn ACL, the Washington Redskins expect the talented running back to pick up right where he left off last August – and they aren’t the only ones, either.
ESPN projects Guice to rush for 809 yards and six touchdowns on 193 carries during his debut season, as well as catch 31 passes for 250 yards and a score.
Those numbers, while solid, might be a bit low for a player who figures to be a focal point of his team’s offense despite his lack of experience. Washington, remember, will be starting a new quarterback this season after Alex Smith’s devastating leg injury last November, and as a result is likely to rely on the running game no matter who wins the job between veteran Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins.
The presence of Adrian Peterson in the Redskins’ backfield gives ESPN’s relatively modest projection more weight. If he and Guice prove somewhere close to equally effective, it would certainly make sense for Jay Gruden to divvy up their touches in a manner that would keep both players fresh. Neither Peterson nor Guice is an elite receiver, either, limiting the number of snaps they’ll play together.
Guice was selected with the 59th pick of last year’s draft after a standout career at LSU. He was the talk of Washington’s training camp in the early going, using his supreme blend of power, speed, vision, and ball skills to emerge as the team’s clear-cut bellhorse at running back. But that plan was dashed early in Guice’s first appearance on an NFL field, when he tore his left ACL on a long, tackle-breaking run in the Reskins’ preseason opener agains the New England Patriots.