The NFL preseason is full of rumors, and right now CBS Sports is reporting a few recent whispers about the Washington Redskins’ upcoming season. Namely, who they are going to bring in to improve their current backfield.
After just two weeks it’s clear that if the Redskins want to be a dominant team in the NFC East, their rushing attack needs some vast improvements. The team is apparently looking at Orleans Darkwa along with veterans Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles to improve the team this season and fill in the back.
The Redskins are in need after losing promising rookie running back Derrius Guice for the entire season. Guice tore his ACL while making his third carry of the preseason, a real blow to the team. Backups Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley are not looking very impressive either, with Perine already nursing an injury despite the season just beginning.
Peterson is scheduled to visit with the team this Monday, and ESPN reported both Darkwa’s and Charles’ visits have already occurred.
Some might be thinking that none of the three potential backfielders are a great fit. Peterson had a somewhat lackluster last season with the Cardinals, after all. But Washington is a different team, and Coach Jay Gruden says none of the men trying out, including Peterson would be starting. Rob Kelley has that job, he said.
“We want to get physicals on them just in case,” Gruden said of Peterson, Charles, and Darkwa. “We’ve had very unlucky situations with our running backs. If something else happens, we’ll be really, really, really thin. We want to make sure we’re covering all our bases right now and we’ll address it when we feel like we have to.”
It’s a sensible move to make given the current state of their backfield. With multiple players injured before the season starts, Gruden needs to stack the bench with some depth.
Peterson is a free agent this season. He told ESPN he is up for the workout challenge and will do whatever it takes to make the team. His workhorse style might be just what they need to improve their rushing game for the upcoming season.
Charles spent 9 seasons with Kansas City and last season with Denver. However, injuries kept him from playing all but 8 games in 2015-2016.
Darkwa spent last season with the New York Giants, ending the season with 751 yards rushing, 154 in the final game of the season.