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Three questions for a potential Derrius Guice-Adrian Peterson-Chris Thompson backfield

Three questions for a potential Derrius Guice-Adrian Peterson-Chris Thompson backfield

Fewer than 24 hours after the 2018 season ended, Chris Thompson was already looking ahead to 2019 and what could be a very dangerous Redskins running back group.

"He's going to be ready for sure," Thompson said about Derrius Guice. "You know how AP came back from his [torn] ACL, how freakish he was after that, so I'm excited for him."

"Speaking of AP," he added, referring to Adrian Peterson, "I'm excited for him, too, and I hope we can get him back as well."

Fans of the Burgundy and Gold are right to be concerned about a lot of the team's future. But a running back trio of Thompson, Guice, and Peterson would be one huge reason to anticipate next year.

With that being said, while those names look tremendous on a depth chart, questions still remain about how it'd all work on the field. Here are three of the biggest ones worth asking.

1) How would Peterson and Guice fit together?

Peterson's a free agent, so first, the team would need to re-sign him. If they do, next up would be figuring out how to make sure he and Guice could co-exist.

The future Hall of Famer is a classic No. 1 option, the type of guy who thrives the more times he gets to carry the ball and who stares at his head coach when he's not receiving enough action. His best games with the 'Skins came when his attempts neared or exceeded 20, and while game flow played a large role in determining the number of rushes he racked up, he simply plays better the more he gets to wear down a defense.

Next year, though, Washington will want to get a lot out of their 2018 second-rounder and see how dynamic he can be as a pro. Peterson's recent stint with the Saints was a brief but unsuccessful experience for him trying to fit in amongst a rotation of RBs, and though he's said he'd have no problem splitting carries with Guice, it remains to be seen how effective that timeshare would be.

2) Could all three stay healthy enough?

A three-headed monster is significantly less useful when one or more of those heads is in street clothes or on IR. Unfortunately, that's something the Redskins would have to worry about with this lineup.

Guice had knee issues late in his career at LSU and went down with a season-ending knee injury in his first preseason game last August. Thompson has missed six games in each of the past two seasons. Weirdly enough, the 33-year-old Peterson has the most recent track record of durability, but how long can that realistically last?

If there's been anything to learn about this franchise the past few seasons, it's that injuries will strike and, often times, they'll strike key players. Perhaps they'd be better served moving forward with Guice and then substituting Thompson and/or Peterson for a younger or more durable threat. 

3) Could Jay Gruden figure out a way to use combinations of them at the same time?

If all three backs return for 2019, putting any one of them on the field would give Jay Gruden an enticing talent to use. Where things could really open up, however, is if he could play two of them in the backfield at the same time.

Gruden put together packages for Peterson/Thompson and Byron Marshall toward the end of last season, but those packages were sent out behind a torn up offensive line and with very limited QBs.

A Guice-Peterson pair or Guice-Thompson pair behind healthy blockers and a non-Mark Sanchez passer, though? Now you're putting some fear into a defense and giving your offense the advantage. But it'd be on Gruden and other offensive coaches to scheme those up and then deploy them enough to find a rhythm. 

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Report: Redskins minority owners unsuccessfully tried to convince Dan Snyder to sell majority stake of franchise

Report: Redskins minority owners unsuccessfully tried to convince Dan Snyder to sell majority stake of franchise

Redskins minority owner and FedEx CEO Fred Smith, along with Washington's other two minority owners -- Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar -- want out of their stake in the franchise after unsuccessfully trying to convince majority owner Dan Snyder to sell his majority portion to them, according to Washington Times' columnist Thom Loverro.

This report comes just days after the Washington Post reported that Smith, Rothman, and Schar wanted out altogether, citing that the trio is "not happy being a partner" with Snyder. The three of them make up approximately 40 percent of the Redskins' ownership group.

This past Thursday, FedEx became one of the first major corporate sponsors of the Redskins to publicly place pressure on the franchise to change its name. Other companies such as Nike, which removed all Redskins' products from its website, along with Bank of America and PepsiCo followed shortly after.

FedEx's statement came after a report from AdWeek surfaced that a number of major investment firms told the company they would pull capital if the team's major sponsors didn't publicly pressure the franchise to change its name. 

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In response, the Redskins released a statement on Friday that the team is undergoing a "thorough review" of the team's name. Washington's new moniker will not have any Native American imagery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, but the team will reportedly keep its beloved burgundy and gold color scheme.

Both NBC Sports Washington and multiple other outlets have reported that the team will likely not play another game with 'Redskins' as its name.

RELATED: GET TO KNOW REDSKINS' MINORITY OWNER FRED SMITH

However, it could take some time for the franchise to finalize the process of changing the name, meaning the club could play the 2020 season without a team name.

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Why Lorenzo Alexander didn't speak up on Redskins' name when he was playing

Why Lorenzo Alexander didn't speak up on Redskins' name when he was playing

For the first six seasons of his NFL career, Lorenzo Alexander sported the Burgundy and Gold every Sunday. Alexander was one of the Redskins' best special teamers during his tenure in Washington and even earned a Pro Bowl nod in his final season with the team.

However, throughout his six seasons with Washington, the defensive lineman-linebacker hybrid never raised concern about the Redskins' name. Now, that has changed.

In an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Wednesday, Alexander explained his current stance on the team's name, as well as why he never chose to speak up on the issue when he was a player for Washington.

"What I'm about to say, obviously the name should be changed," Alexander said. "But I can be seen as hypocritical because I played for the team and never really said much of it."

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Over the past week, the Redskins have been publicly pressured by some of its largest corporate sponsors to change the name. In response, the team announced on Friday it was undergoing a review of the name, and a change appears to be on the horizon. 

For Alexander, it took time to be away from the team to truly understand the meaning behind the name Redskins. Now, more than ever before, he understands why the name may need to be a thing of the past.

"I think once you kind of step away from it and kind of analyze what the word means and the progression of it – because it wasn't always a derogatory name, but at some point, it got attached to killing of Native Americans," Alexander said. "There's obviously a group in the Native American community that feels that it is derogatory, and they've always shown up and always protested, even while I was there, as far as getting the name changed."

With the social justice movement and fight for racial equality in America in full effect following the killing of George Floyd, Alexander believes that it would have been "hypocritical" for him not to advocate for a name change.

"I think we can no longer kind of stand behind ignorance or the fact that it doesn't really impact me," Alexander said. "So as a black man in the community, [it] would be very hypocritical for me to say, 'No, I love the name! It doesn't impact me!' when my community is kind of in an uproar right now speaking out on the same thing to the white community as far as some of the things that we see and how our lives are impacted."

RELATED: NEW REDSKINS NAME WILL NOT CONTAIN NATIVE AMERICAN IMAGERY, PER REPORT

During the interview, Alexander repeatedly emphasized how important it is for people with a powerful voice to speak up about societal issues, as that is one of the best ways to create a meaningful change.

Alexander commended FedEx being the first Redskins' sponsor to publicly call for a change, even with the company having such a lucrative partnership with the team. Additionally, Alexander mentioned that he doesn't think the movement to change the name would be so strong had the company not publicly raised concern about it.

"Some are bigger than others and that's why it takes all of us to create change because if FedEx didn't jump on board, this probably wouldn't have got done," Alexander said. "And so by them including themselves in the conversation and for change, it allowed for change to occur, and that's why I think everybody's responsible for the direction of our country as we move forward."

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