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Ron Rivera: Antonio Gibson has shown tremendous growth

Mike Florio and Chris Simms can't wait for Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes to go head-to-head on Sunday Night Football in Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season.

The Commanders drafted Brian Robinson in the third round in 2022 and installed him as their top running back once he recovered from being shot during the summer, so Antonio Gibson had to adjust to being the No. 2 back after a couple of years on top of the depth chart.

This year’s draft saw the team pick up Chris Rodriguez in the sixth round and head coach Ron Rivera said that new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy “really liked” the rookie’s work at Kentucky. Rodriguez’s addition raises some questions about the team’s view of Gibson for 2023, but Rivera insists he’s still very much in the team’s plans.

“I’d like to see Antonio get a few more tries, obviously last year, but Antonio’s shown tremendous growth and we’re pretty excited about who he could be,” Rivera said, via Bryan Manning of “This is a guy that played wide receiver at one time coming out and one thing that he did have was every nine touches resulted in a touchdown, so we’re looking for some production from him as well and we’re looking to see that he does fit in into the scheme of things as far as what Eric Bieniemy wants to do with the offense.”

Rivera’s note about Gibson’s background as a receiver may be a hint of where things will go in the final year of Gibson’s rookie deal. He caught 46 passes last year and continuing to make plays in that area will likely be his best path to playing time this fall.