After a strong start to this year at 7-4, the Washington Redskins looked like they were not only going to win the division, but also gave hope to the fan base for the immediate future.
The first step to the Redskins plan was to establish a run game. They intended on doing so by drafting Derrius Guice in the second round of last year. Washington has never really had a good run game, especially since Alfred Morris left back in 2016, so this was a huge pick for Jay Gruden. It seemed like everything was already falling into place.
But the nightmare had just begun.
It was early August when the Redskins announced Guice was going to miss his rookie season due to a torn ACL. This was honestly heartbreaking. Guice was one of the best running backs taken in the draft and looked to be one of the vocal points of this offense. Guice played all but one year at LSU, and may I just say, he did not disappoint. As a true freshman, Guice took a backseat to Leonard Fournette but still managed to scrap together 436 yards and three touchdowns on 51 carries. Once Fournette packed up his bags, though, it was time for the Derrius Guice show to begin. In just his second year with LSU, Guice was able to lead all SEC rushers with 1,387 yards on 183 carries while accounting for 15 touchdowns. Although he was never really a receiving back, he still managed to exceed a thousand yards once again in his junior season. He rushed the ball for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns on 237 carries. Guice was a monster in college and I expect him to be the same in the NFL, if it weren’t for the injury he would’ve been a front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Once Guice was ruled out for the season, the Redskins then turned to future hall-of-famer Adrian Peterson to take over. After getting traded from the Saints to the Cardinals, people didn’t expect much from the 32-year-old.
Even though AP wasn’t going to be featured like he used to, he still managed to show flashes of his old self. He rushed for a total of 529 yards on only 156 carries. The Redskins probably weren’t to sure how AP was going to perform, but from how this year has gone, he has proved a lot of people wrong. This year, he looks to go over 1,000 yards for the 8th time in his career, rushing for 723 yards on 171 carries thus far.
It really makes you think how much of an impact Guice would’ve made if he stayed healthy.
However, the nightmare continued when they lost 3 of their starting offensive linemen due to injury. Trent Williams hasn’t played since dislocating his thumb against the Giants in Week 8,and has also been battling knee pains from offseason surgery (something else to keep an eye on). Williams will most likely see the field again as long as his knee holds up, but the ‘Skins took a big hit when they lost both of their starting guards Brandon Scherff and Shaun Lauvao to season ending injuries.
It may not be the best idea but offensive lineman Morgan Moses says he will try to play through his sprained MCL. This might be good for the Redskins, but note that it can have a very bad effect in the future if he ends up making it worse.
Even after all these major injuries, it looked like maybe the Redskins would get a break and stay healthy for a while.
Well, it seems as though they can’t wake up from this nightmare after watching JJ Watt absolutely RUIN Alex Smith’s ankle. If the Redskins had any plan of a playoff push they can throw that right out of the window. Smith is the most average quarterback you can ask for and while he wasn’t having the year he did last year with the Chiefs, he’s still better than Colt McCoy and probably almost any other quarterback they can sign as of now. The Redskins don’t really have a WR1 but when they had Smith, it wasn’t as much as an issue since he could spread the ball around well enough. Smith is very careful and doesn’t throw too many interceptions, which is something you really need when you don’t have that go-to guy.
The Alex Smith injury, for those who missed it and want to see. It was bad.pic.twitter.com/vrGVMS7EMD
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 18, 2018
Take a look or don’t, I wouldn’t blame you either way—it’s pretty gruesome.
Now, with Colt McCoy as the starter, I expect this Redskins team to start trending down. Smith was having himself a decent season with 2,180 yards on 205 completions and 10 touchdowns, taking into account he never really had a good receiving core.
Smith’s final injury prognosis ended up being a broken tibia and fibula, and while it’s not suspected to be career-ending, it is going to be tough for him to overcome this. As of right now, it doesn’t look to be that important for this season, since the ‘Skins are set on a veteran quarterback as the backup. But they NEED to address their quarterback status coming into next year.
This year looks well in the gutter for the unlucky Redskins, but I think the Washington fans still have a lot to look forward to. The defense hasn’t been the best. But, if they’re looking to win games, this defense has sure proven they can keep them in games. If this injury to Smith didn’t happen that’s one thing. But Alex Smith is also 34, so I wouldn’t expect him to be the franchise quarterback that they still need.
I wouldn’t really count on the Redskins drafting a quarterback in the first round, but they do have a fourth-round pick in 2019. Therefore, they might try to trade that and maybe a player to move up. The Redskins are most likely going to be targeting a receiver in the first round, someone they think can be a contributor from the get-go and help this offense move alongside Derrius Guice. Now that they’re gonna have to figure out the quarterback situation next year, it may be a season after till we see what the Redskins are made of. I think this team is going to be pretty damn good in the next couple years, if you ask me.
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