Washington Redskins: Derrius Guice should take over upon return

Washington Football Team, Derrius Guice (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Washington Football Team, Derrius Guice (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The Washington Redskins should get running back Derrius Guice back in Week 11. They shouldn’t hesitate to use him over veteran Adrian Peterson.

The Washington Redskins selected Derrius Guice in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. However, a torn ACL in the preseason forced him to miss his entire rookie year. The running back still came into 2019 with all types of hype. In Week 1, Guice ran for just 18 yards on 10 carries (three receptions for 20 yards), though. And even worse, an injury took him out again.

Guice is finally set to return in Week 11 following Washington’s bye week. There might be a slight issue, however. Adrian Peterson has been playing his best football of the year over the last few weeks.

Peterson has ran for over 4.0 yards per carry in each of his last four games. Three of those saw him average over 5.0 yards per carry. That includes his Week 9 game against the Buffalo Bills when he ran for 108 yards on 18 carries (6.0 yards per carry). But the Redskins can’t worry about that.

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At 1-8, this is a lost season. Washington isn’t about to win anything and have a better chance at the No. 1 pick than they do in making the playoffs. They should be worried about evaluating talent at this point. It’s why Dwayne Haskins needs to be their starting quarterback and why Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims Jr. should see more time at receiver.

That also means Guice should be getting as much play as possible. Now, the Redskins will also want to be careful with him. Coming back from two injuries, there is no reason to push him too hard in a lost season.

They need to get him back into a groove, though. This is the perfect time to get Guice acclimated to the NFL. Even if he isn’t running particularly well, it’s not like a loss is going to hurt the Redskins.

Since Guice shouldn’t be overworked, the Redskins can still use Peterson a solid amount. In fact, he’ll probably be used more than Guice in Week 11 against the New York Jets — maybe even Week 12 against the Detroit Lions too. After Guice is back into the swing of things, though, it should be his show. And the Redskins shouldn’t feel bad about that.

Yes, Adrian Peterson has been awesome for the team these last two years. He came in at the last moment in 2018 and had a fantastic bounce-back year, filling in for Guice. Then he started this year as a backup and was even inactive in Week 1, and has been solid once again. He’s also 34. Peterson isn’t in the Redskins long-term plans. You know who is: Derrius Guice.

It would be one thing if Guice was drafted late as this massive project. But he was brought in to be a difference-maker immediately. Washington doesn’t need him to sit back and learn anything, they need him to play.

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It might seem a little unfair to Peterson, but it’s the best move for the franchise. He will still get his touches, just as the change-of-pace to Guice (definitely don’t make him inactive like they did at the start of the year, that was disrespectful and not good for the team in the first place).

If all goes well, Derrius Guice will have cemented himself as the star running back of the franchise by the end of the year. It’s time for the Washington Redskins to let Adrian Peterson pass the torch off to him, just like they were planning on doing before the injury.