Making the 53-man roster is an important step for any young player in the NFL. Once that accomplishment is checked off, though, the focus turns to being a part of the 46-man game day roster each week.
Second-year running back Samaje Perine took care of the former on Sept. 1, yet in the two games the Redskins have played since that date, he's found himself on the inactive list.
But with Rob Kelley now on IR and just two healthy RBs available, it looks like Perine will be one of the 46 this Sunday when the 'Skins host the Packers. That beats wearing sweatpants on Sundays, even if you try to make the best of that like Perine has.
"I wouldn't say it's tough," he said Friday. "It's a learning experience."
Washington's leading rusher in 2017 explained that Kelley, Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson have kept him involved and asked him questions these past few weeks. He's been paying close attention to their play as well.
Was that the right cut to make? Should they have pressed that run a little more? These are the kinds of things he's been thinking of on the sidelines.
"I still feel just as much a part of the game, as if I'm still playing," Perine said.
And there's one detail in particular he's picked up from Peterson.
"Picking a hole and hitting it full speed," he responded when asked what quality No. 26 has that he wants to replicate. "My thing is I try to be a little too patient. With him, he's patient, but once he sees it, it's zero to 100. With me, I'm like zero, 50 then 100."
Perine went on to explain that even when there's no daylight, Peterson still commits to his lane and that allows him to pick up three or four yards regardless. That kind of aggression can also lead to more chunk plays, too.
"Nothing's there, you hit it and then something opens up, then you don't have to worry about changing that gear," he said. "You're already top speed."
Peterson and Thompson still figure to see the majority of snaps at running back in Week 3 and beyond. Kelley had just four carries before going down early vs. the Colts, so don't expect to see too much of Perine if/when he debuts against the Packers.
Maybe you should expect to see an improved Perine, however. He's talented but hasn't always had the confidence. Perhaps, in some odd way, being kept off the field early in 2018 and being forced to learn is what will give him that confidence.
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