The Redskins offense in 2019 was abysmal, to say the least, and the numbers back it up. Washington's historically bad unit finished last in all three of these categories: points per game, passing yards per game, and total yards per game.
The organization has gone through major changes during this offseason, but the questions about the offense remain.
Outside of emerging star Terry McLaurin and promising slot receiver Steven Sims, the wide receiver talent is scarce. Many are skeptical whether 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins is the answer at quarterback. And of course, the team needs to figure out if a return of seven-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams is realistic.
There's also another position the Redskins must address prior to next season that very few people are talking about: running back. The Burgundy and Gold have a lot more questions than answers at the position.
The top of the depth chart remains veteran Adrian Peterson. The Redskins have a team-option with No. 26, but almost everyone expects Washington to pick it up.
The future Hall of Famer turns 35 years old in March, and while he's shown he still has stuff left in the tank, he's not getting any younger. There's no telling how much longer Peterson will be a serviceable starter, and Washington should not expect him to turn in a third-straight 200-carry season.
Sitting behind Peterson is Derrius Guice. The LSU product has played just five NFL games in two years and has undergone three knee surgeries since August of 2018. When he's on the field, he's shown glimpses of being a dominant running back (watch highlights from the Carolina game and see for yourself).
But staying on the field has been the third-year running back's biggest problem. Guice doesn't like the "injury-prone" label one bit, but when you've only played in five of 32 potential games, it follows you around.
At this point, any production the Redskins get from Guice should be considered a bonus. The flashes of talent have been great to see, but the durability is already too much of a concern for the Redskins to be able to commit to him every week.
In an ideal world, the Redskins would like Peterson and Guice to each have between 10-12 carries a game, if not more. But Guice has never had more than 10 carries in a game -- ever -- and Peterson cannot carry the load for another full season by himself.
But perhaps the biggest question mark surrounding the Redskins running back unit is who will be the primary receiving back.
Both new head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner come to the nation's capital from Carolina, a team that relied on their running backs catching passes more than anyone. Of course, the Panthers have Christian McCaffrey on their roster. The Redskins simply...don't.
But the need for a pass-catching back in Turner's system remains a necessity. Chris Thompson has served that role for Washington over the past few seasons, but he's an unrestricted free agent. While he stated he'd be open to a return to Washington, there's no guarantee he stays, especially with the other needs the Redskins will have to address in free agency.
Thompson, like Guice, has also been hampered by injuries over the past three seasons. The 29-year-old has not played a 16-game season since 2016 and missed five or more games in each of the last three seasons.
The X-factor in the Redskins running back unit is Bryce Love, a second-year product from Stanford. Love, once considered a first-round talent, slipped during the 2019 NFL Draft due to an ACL injury he suffered in December of 2018. Love spent his entire rookie season rehabbing.
If Love can return to being the dynamic back he was at Stanford, the Redskins might have gotten a fourth-round steal. Love excelled both on the ground and catching passes out of the backfield with the Cardinal, a trait that would be very valuable in Washington.
But like the other running backs on the Redskins roster, Washington simply cannot trust Love to be healthy for an entire season and be productive.
If Chris Thompson decides to leave via free agency, the Redskins could target a cheaper running back. But with Peterson, Guice, and Love all under contract, it may make sense for Washington to address this need in the later rounds of the draft, where they could grab a young back at an inexpensive price.
Thompson's decision will be crucial for the Redskins. If he departs, they will need to add a solid receiving back in order to run Turner's offense at its peak.
In his first offseason as Redskins head coach, Rivera has plenty of decisions to make, including multiple at running back.
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