SEATTLE—Redskins running back Rob Kelley will play today after being listed as questionable with an ankle injury, according to multiple media reports. However, he will be on a reduced work load.
The ankle injury has been impacting Kelley since he sustained it in the first half of the Redskins’ Week 4 game in Kansas City. He did not play in the second half of that game and he missed the game following the Week 5 bye. In the two games he has played in since then he has 15 carries for 35 yards, an average of 2.33 yards per attempt.
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Last week, Jay Gruden said that Kelley’s ankle still isn’t quite right and that it may not be for a while.
“He tried to come back a little sooner than he probably should have and he fought through it,” he said. “Then every time he’s got tackled in the piles and had it twisted up on him a couple times, last week was another example of it. It’s just something that he’s dealing with right now and I think he will continue to deal with it for a little while. I think he is close to being ready. Hopefully a couple more days of rehab and treatment and some Advil, I think he will be ready to go.”
For the season, Kelley has 166 rushing yards in five games. In his first five starts as a rookie last year he had 420 yards.
Gruden’s solution to Kelley being hobbled has been to run the ball less. Third-down back Chris Thompson has 11 rushing attempts in the last two games and rookie Samaje Perine has not touched the ball.
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The Redskins lost both of those games. That wasn’t surprising because they are 3-21 under Gruden when they run for fewer than 90 yards in a game. With Kelley limited, Gruden will need to figure out how to cobble together some semblance of a running game if the Redskins are going to get back on a winning track. That will be difficult to do with three starting offensive linemen likely out of today’s game, but the coaches must work something out or the Redskins will continue to fade from relevance.