Through two games the Redskins have attempted 29 rushes.
Starter Matt Jones has 20 of those, third-down back Chris Thompson has six, and QB Kirk Cousins has scrambled three times.
There is one running back who has been active for both games who has yet to get a carry. That is rookie free agent Robert Kelley. He earned a spot by having a good training camp running well in the preseason and in the week leading up to the regular season opener Jay Gruden indicated that Kelley would have a role in the offense during the season.
“We feel like the mentality that he has and how far he's come along from OTAs to training camp, we feel like he's ready," Gruden said.
"This day and age in pro football, the days where running backs get the ball 35 times I think are numbered. I think you need to have two or three backs to keep them fresh, especially when you have a guy who's proven out here so far what type of vision he has and power that he has in the hole."
Looking at it now, of course, the statement almost looks laughable. They had 12 rushing attempts against the Steelers and 17 against Dallas. They have a ton of problems but keeping running backs fresh clearly isn’t one of them.
So, in two games Kelley has been on the field for just two snaps, both of them on special teams. On Wednesday Gruden was asked if he still was comfortable with the notion of getting Kelley involved in the offense.
“I am at a comfort level, and that’s probably one of the most disappointing things so far is we haven’t gotten him involved yet and that’s probably [because] we’ve been behind a little bit, we haven’t gotten our running game going like we want,” he said. “But I’d like to get him some touches this week and I do feel comfortable. I think he’s got great vision, got a great, low center of gravity. He’s like in between Chris and Matt. He’s not as big as Matt and he’s not as quick as Chris, but he’s got great vision and he’s a big, solid running back and I’d like to see what he can do and hopefully that’ll come Sunday.”
It won’t be easy for the Redskins to get their rushing game ramped up against the Giants. In their opener the held Ezekiel Elliott to an average of 2.4 yards on 20 carries and last week the Saints essentially abandoned the run in the second half after getting just 35 yards on 13 carries in the first half.
But maybe the Redskins will generate enough running back touches for Kelley to get a few. Jones has been running fairly well but it certainly couldn’t hurt to have an additional weapon to go to.
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