When a fourth-year pro is the most experienced player at a position group, it's clear that group lacks experience. That's the case with the Redskins at running back, where Chris Thompson is the veteran of the group and second-year man Matt Jones is the starter.
Friday night, Jones injured his left shoulder, suffering an AC joint sprain. The severity of the injury is unknown, but where the 'Skins already had questions at running back, now those issues are more prominent.
On Saturday, CSN examined some of the running backs still available in free agency, with Pierre Thomas at the top of the list. GM Scot McCloughan signed Thomas late in the 2015 season, and the former New Orleans Saints runner gave the Redskins good play in a short stint. Additionally, the Bills released 2015 Pro Bowler Karlos Williams on Saturday, and while he might be an interesting talent, it seems unlikely he lands with the 'Skins.
But if McCloughan wanted to consider a trade for a running back, what players might be available? CSN looked at a few options:
- Spencer Ware/Charcandrick West - The Chiefs have a bounty of talent at running back, where both Ware and West have shown skill and star RB Jamaal Charles should return from injury for Week 1. In 2015, West rushed for more than 600 yards and averaged 4 yards-per-carry and Ware had 403 yards, six touchdowns and averaged 5.6 YPC. Spencer Ware started Kansas City's second preseason game, so when Charles returns, West will be a third-string runner. Perhaps he could be available for one of Washington's nine draft picks in 2017.
- James Starks - The Packers most productive back in 2015 was rewarded this offseason with a two-year deal worth $6 million, but that doesn't mean the six-year vet could not be available. Green Bay has committed to starter Eddie Lacy, and reports show a leaner Lacy has looked strong so far in camp and preseason games. The price to trade for Starks might be high, but the guy put up nearly 1,000 total yards last season to go with five TDs. He could be the ideal complement to Jones, and carry the load if Jones' injury ends up lingering.
- Bishop Sankey - A second-round pick in 2014, Sankey has been a bust thus far in Nashville. In two years with the Titans, Sankey has rushed for 762 yards and an average of 3.9 YPC. The stats don't pop, and neither does Sankey's film. And considering Tennessee drafted Derrick Henry out of Alabama and added DeMarco Murray, Sankey is obviously not in the long-term plans for the Titans. Sankey will certainly be available, perhaps cheaply, and while his NFL career has been a dud so far, this is a guy that showed immense talent in college. Maybe a change of scenery could give him a football revival? Stranger things have happened.
This is just a snapshot of some of the players that could be available. McCloughan and his scouting staff will look all over the league for options, and may still stand pat with the runners on the 'Skins roster. Stay tuned.