Kelley, an undrafted rookie last year, started Washington's final nine games of the season after Matt Jones failed to impress to begin the campaign. In those appearances, Kelley finished with 601 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Although a knee problem that required a small surgery this offseason slowed him toward the end of that stretch, Kelley showed enough to project as the Redskins' top tailback heading into next season. With his numbers as a starter, that role could see Kelley eclipse 1,000 yards in 2017, but he'll need to continue to prove he's the team's best option to have that opportunity.
CSN Mid-Atlantic learned Friday that Kelley underwent a procedure on his right knee after the regular season wrapped up. The development likely stemmed from the sprained knee that afflicted him in Weeks 16 and 17, but now back in the saddle, he should be ready to roll well in advance of the offseason program, which kicks off in April.
Although it isn't clear when Kelley went under the knife, it's certain that the procedure was a fix for the sprained knee he sustained in Week 16 against the Bears. He's already back on his feet and walking around, so the surgery shouldn't have any lingering effects that extend into the 2017 campaign.
Kelley rushed for 33 yards on 12 attempts in Sunday's loss to the Giants.
Kelley never found his groove against a bruising Giants defense, with his longest rush of the game totaling a measly seven yards. In 15 games this season, the rookie rushed for 704 yards and six touchdowns. He came out of nowhere in Week 8 to take over for Matt Jones, who struggled holding onto the ball early in the year. Kelley never looked back, solidifying his role as Washington's top back. He is under contract through the 2018 season and will be the odds-on favorite to be the starter next season.
Kelley (knee) is listed as active Sunday versus the Giants.
Although he was limited in his preparation for Week 17, Kelley made a modest bump in his workload Friday, according to head coach Jay Gruden. As a result, Kelley seems poised for his typical workload in a must-win game for the Redskins, who must beat the Giants and hope the outcome of the Packers-Lions game isn't a tie. Since taking over for Matt Jones in Week 8, Kelley has averaged 18.8 touches per game, while reaching the end zone five times across eight contests.