After beating Chicago, Jay Gruden didn't want to talk about the Redskins running back platoon. Washington's run game again was subpar, and rookie Matt Jones again out-carried veteran Alfred Morris.
"One day after a game you guys are going to not ask me about running backs," Gruden said to the media after being asked about the roles of Jones and Morris.
For the game, Jones got 18 rushes and gained 62 yards while Morris got 11 carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. Morris' TD marked his first of the season. Last week in a loss to the Cowboys, Jones got three times as many carries as Morris, which prompted Gruden to confirm Morris was still the No. 1 runner for the 'Skins.
Early in the game it looked that way, as Morris had six carries on the opening drive. But late in the game when the team needed a first down, Jones was on the field, and he provided a physical, bruising run to finish the game.
"I love Alfred," Gruden said. "I love Matt."
Week after week, both Jones and Morris have been asked about the rotating role of feature back. Both players echo similar sentiment; that individual stats don't matter in a team sport and the players root for one another.
Throughout the season, Jones has seemed the stronger, swifter back, but he also has shown a dangerous penchant for fumbles and rookie mistakes. That nearly happened Sunday in Chicago when Jones made a lucky catch off a ricochet from Jordan Reed. Only when Jones caught the ball, he sat up, and placed the ball on the ground for a fumble. The rookie realized his mistake and grabbed the ball back, but it was another in a series of eye-popping errors that have marred an otherwise strong rookie season. Luckily for Jones, and for the Redskins, there was no harm caused by the gaffe.
After a close win that keeps his team in first place of the NFC East, Gruden did not seem concerned at all about his running back time share.
"They’re both really good backs."