One of the bigger questions facing the Redskins this offseason was whether the organization planned to retain running back Chris Thompson. After a signing the team made Wednesday, a return seems highly unlikely.
The Redskins have reportedly inked running back J.D. McKissic to a two-year deal, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The terms of the contract are unknown.
The #Redskins are signing RB J.D. McKissic to a two-year deal, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2020
McKissic spent the 2019 season with the Detriot Lions after spending the first three years of his career in the Pacific Northwest with the Seahawks. A hybrid-type back, McKissic specializes in catching passes out of the backfield. But at 5-foot-10 and nearly 200 lbs, he has the size to run in between the tackles, too, should the Redskins choose to use him in that role.
The 26-year-old was a standout wide receiver in college at Arkansas State and had one season with over 100 receptions. In college, McKissic had just 49 career rush attempts, compared to 289 career receptions.
But after signing with the Seahawks in 2016 as an undrafted free agent, the team transitioned him into the backfield, where he served as a pass-catching running back. He played a similar role in Detroit a season ago, catching 34 passes, tied for a career-high.
In Washington, he'll likely be placed in that same role, the role Thompson has played the past several years for the Burgundy and Gold. Thompson was plenty successful in Washington and quite impactful on the field when healthy.
But staying on the field has been an issue for Thompson. 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.
McKissic joins a running back group that features future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, third-year veteran Derrius Guice and second-year pro Bryce Love.
Peterson still holds the top spot on the Redskins depth chart, but at age 35, he's not getting any younger. Guice has shown glimpses of being a dominant running back (watch highlights from the Carolina game and see for yourself) but has played in just five games through the first two years of his career and undergone three knee surgeries. Love, the Redskins fourth-round pick in 2019, is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered when he was a senior at Stanford.
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