In 2017, Washington was bit pretty hard by the injury bug. Now there's a fresh wound — and a massive one — early in the 2018 season.
Second-round running back Derrius Guice suffered a torn ACL in his preseason debut, Washington confirmed Friday, and he'll be placed on season-ending injured reserve. The injury to his knee occured early in 26-17 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday night. Guice carried the ball six times for 19 yards on 10 snaps and limped off the field on his final touch.
Early indications were that Guice might have suffered a strained MCL, saying after the game that he "felt fine." But he underwent an MRI on Friday morning where the more serious injury was discovered. His season is officially over before it really got started.
Guice hyperextended his left knee at LSU last season but was held out of only one game. It's not clear whether that previous injury made him more susceptible to the torn ACL, but there were NFL teams that did extra evaluation on his medical status leading up to the draft because of that knee.
Washington now has far less talent at the position. Guice had appeared to be the front runner to start after an excellent performance in training camp. Who steps up? It could be Samaje Perine, who had a disappointing rookie season in 2017 but had excellent college production at Oklahoma. It also could be a tandem effort with Robert Kelley, who has started before.
We know Chris Thompson figures to be a big part of the backfield workforce, but he's also coming off a season-ending injury last year with a fractured right fibula Other candidates include Byron Marshall or Kapri Bibbs, who have some big-play ability.
Kelley has earned praise from Jay Gruden, and Perine is said to be looking better than he did last season, when he averaged 3.4 yards per carry and didn't factor much into the receiving game. But can he run with the power and explosiveness that Guice was expected to bring? That's a major question now.