Bad news hit Redskins fans on Friday afternoon when the word emerged that Derrius Guice would miss the season with a torn ACL.
The news is sad, undeniably, as Guice offered a charismatic personality off the field and a dynamic talent on the field.
The news, however, is not cause for panic.
Guice looked like the best running back on the Redskins roster during training camp in Richmond. He has speed and size, moves to go with a patient run style.
Still, this is a player that had never produced in the NFL.
Last season, the Redskins won seven games despite the worst injury situation in the NFL. Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson played a combined 17 games, out of 32 possible, and Samaje Perine led the team with 603 rush yards.
The run game was bad, but it didn't start that way. In their first four games, Washington rushed for more than 100 yards three times. In a Week 2 win over the Rams, the Redskins piled up a very impressive 229 rush yards.
Then, the injuries mounted. Kelley went down and so did members of the offensive line.
The point isn't to make light of the Redskins run struggles in 2017. The team averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry, and was terrible on third down and short-yardage situations.
Guice could have helped. That is obvious.
The point, however, is that Washington can still win games without Guice. No matter how impressive the rookie looked in Richmond, it was no sure thing he would produce in the NFL. And it's equally not a sure thing that the Burgundy and Gold will have the same injury struggles, or run game struggles, in 2018.
With a healthy offensive line, there is a data sample that shows a combination of Thompson, Kelley and Perine can produce on the ground. The mobility of Alex Smith should help the ground game as well.
Losing Guice stings, no doubt, but it doesn't mean the Redskins 2018 season has sunk before it even begins.
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