Washington Commanders: Don’t worry about Antonio Gibson after Week 1

The most important thing that came from Week 1 of the NFL season is that the Washington Commanders defeated the Arizona Cardinals. However, it was far from a perfect game by the D.C. franchise.

One of the bigger issues the team had was getting running back Antonio Gibson making positive plays. While it’s clear that the Cardinals are going to be good on defense this year, Gibson’s bad game isn’t anything for fans to be too concerned about in Week 1.

Washington Commanders fans, don’t worry about Gibson yet.

In Week 1, Gibson fumbled and lost the ball at the beginning of the second quarter. What was equally as surprising is that Gibson was barely used despite the fact that he’s the second running back on the depth chart.

He only had three rushes for nine yards, but his lack of passing targets was even more surprising. He caught his only target of the day for 10 yards. He had fewer passing targets than starter Brian Robinson Jr. and as many rushing attempts as third-string running back Chris Rodriguez Jr.

That early fumble clearly affected how much offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy wanted to use Gibson for the rest of the game, but let’s not overreact to this one bad game. Gibson is still the best pass-catching back the Commanders have and the veteran in the backfield. He’s also still being used as a kick returner so he’s still involved in the game plan at this point.

However, Gibson has to have a bounceback game against the Denver Broncos. He has to be the back Bieniemy calls on for third-down passing downs and he has to be more of a safety net for quarterback Sam Howell.

If he can do that, the Washington Commanders offense will continue to become more balanced with three reliable running backs. If he can’t be relied on, the running back position will be something that the franchise will look to fortify down the road which won’t be good for him.