When Pierre Thomas signed with the Redskins on Dec. 10, the veteran running back was afforded only one practice and a walkthrough before he made his debut in Chicago. Naturally, he didn’t play much. In fact, Thomas saw only four snaps and hauled in one pass for 12 yards against the Bears.
But Thomas’ role could grow Sunday against the Bills—if he's in the lineup. Coach Jay Gruden said the 46-man game day roster will feature, per usual, three running backs and a fullback, meaning the third running back spot will come down to Thomas or Chris Thompson, who was sidelined last week with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable for the Buffalo game.
“Pierre is good [to go],” Gruden said. “He’s picked it up fast. He could play the whole game if he wants to. He’s good.”
If Thomas is active, he’ll be eager to show what he can do.
“I’m very comfortable now,” said Thomas, a dual-threat back who had a combined 1,600 yards from scrimmage as a member of the Saints in 2013 and 2014. “I picked up the offensive scheme very, very quickly. Hopefully I showed them...I’m good with the protections, the run scheme and the passing game, too. I’m ready to go out there and do my thing, and show everybody what I can do.”
Kirk Cousins noted that Thomas has already made an impact off the field in Ashburn.
“You’re always trying to gain knowledge from experienced players like Pierre, especially when they come in from other teams,” Cousins said. “He’s had a lot of success with the Saints playing in one of the best offenses in football for almost a decade.”
The quarterback added: “I feel like he’s got a lot to share and I just try to be a good question-asker, and pick his brain. …It’s great to have guys like him and the other vets that we’ve picked up as the year has gone on, who have that experience and know what it’s like to win, and win consistently.”
On Friday, Thomas was the last player to leave the practice field. He stayed out long after practice ended so that he could get some extra work with third string quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“I wanted to work on a couple of routes,” Thomas said. “Make sure I’ve got it down pat, with my steps and getting out of my breaks. I feel comfortable.”
Like Gruden, offensive coordinator Sean McVay also hinted that Thomas could see a bigger role Sunday.
“He’s done a really good job picking up the system,” McVay said. “Like we mentioned, there are some similarities in the way that we’ll use him to what he’s done over the course of his career in New Orleans. He is a guy that you can expect to see more of this week because of that.”