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Ron Rivera on starting RB: There’s always a competition for positions

Mike Florio and Chris Simms take a look at some pressing questions around the NFC East, from Dallas’ short supply of healthy WRs to what Daniel Jones needs to show during preseason and more.

There wasn’t much discussion about Antonio Gibson’s role in the Commanders offense this offseason because he seemed like a clear choice for the starting running back job, but a couple of recent developments led to questions for head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday.

Gibson fumbled in the preseason opener, which led Rivera to say that he needs “to run harder” after the game. At Tuesday’s practice, reporters noted that Gibson, who fumbled six times last season, was playing with the second- and third-team offenses and on punt protection in addition to taking some snaps with the starters.

Third-round pick Brian Robinson also saw work with all those units and Rivera told reporters that the team wants to be able to use all of their players by way of explaining those shifts. Rivera didn’t close the door on the idea of someone other than Gibson being on the first team, however.

“There’s always been a competition for the positions on this team,” Rivera said, via Ben Standig of

Gibson posted 1,832 rushing yards, 541 receiving yards and 21 total touchdowns over his first two seasons and that productivity will likely keep him at the top of the depth chart as long as the fumbles make it impossible for Washington to look elsewhere in the backfield.