SNIDER: Time for Guice to prove his reliability

Rick Snider
November 14, 2019 - 12:20 pm

Derrius Guice is either the unluckiest person in football or another in a long line of injury-prone players that have plagued the Washington Redskins recently.

The season’s final seven weeks will go a long way in determining if the 2018 second-round pick is a tremendous talent or a tease.

Quarterback Dwayne Haskins is getting the most attention as the Redskins return from a bye to face the New York Jets on Sunday at FedEx Field (with tickets still available for whopping $12 on StubHub). The rookie passer needs to show at least a spark through year’s end to keep Washington from quarterback shopping over the offseason.

But Guice is very much in the same dilemma. He has been sidelined since gaining 18 yards on 10 carries in the season-opening loss at Philadelphia with a meniscus injury. And Guice missed last season with a knee injury in his preseason debut.

Two games, injuries to both left and right knees. That doesn’t bode well for a long career.

The frustrating part is the former LSU star could be the physical back who also catches passes in the backfield the Redskins need for the next five years. That is, if he can stay healthy. Maybe the injuries were flukes, perhaps they’re a harbinger.

The plan is for Guice to share the backfield with veteran Adrian Peterson, who was inactive during Week 1. That’s a smart play. Peterson is a sure first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer who deserves to play regularly after averaging 4.1 yards this season.

But there’s room for two, especially with third-down back Chris Thompson still hurt. Guice can handle third-down roles. He only needs 8-10 carries per game to show some effectiveness and durability. Running him 20 times per game would be reckless at this point. Let Guice prove himself and save the rest for 2020.

Guice flashed so well in offseason practices that Washington can greatly benefit from him . . . if healthy. Now is about learning if he can stay that way.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks