Kelley (ankle) finds himself in a crowded backfield alongside Chris Thompson (leg), Samaje Perine and rookie second-round pick Derrius Guice, Kimberley A. Martin of The Washington Post reports. Kelley is quite clearly the least athletic player among that quartet, offering little in terms of speed, explosiveness or pass-catching ability, though he does have a decent combination of power, vision and football smarts. He may nonetheless find himself on the roster bubble during training camp, coming off an injury-shortened 2017 campaign in which he averaged 3.1 yards on 62 carries. Kelley at least figures to be back at full strength for training camp, if he isn't there already. He'll compete with Guice and Perine to earn carries, while Thompson figures to handle passing downs if he regains his health.
Kelley (ankle) will have a lot to prove during the Redskins' offseason program and Organized Team Activities, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington reports. Kelley earned a roster spot as an undrafted rookie in 2016 and emerged as Washington's lead back by the end of the year. He took a big step back in his sophomore campaign, however, managing just 62 carries for 194 yards (3.2 average) and three touchdowns in seven games while being limited by ankle, knee and rib injuries. The ankle issue landed him on injured reserve in mid-November, and while he seems to have avoided surgery and should be healthy for the offseason program, Kelley ultimately may find himself in a battle for a roster spot. Chris Thompson (leg) and 2017 fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should make the team without question, and head coach Jay Gruden has already acknowledged the likelihood that Washington uses an early draft pick on a running back. As an early-down thumper without much special-teams value, Kelley likely will become expendable if he doesn't look better than Perine during spring and summer practices.
Head coach Jay Gruden said Kelley (ankle/knee) was rarely healthy during the 2017 season, Stephen Czarda of the Redskins' official site reports. "Rob Kelley, his second game of the year against the Rams, he almost had 100 yards and that's when he hurt his ankle," Gruden relayed. "He never really was quite the same, but when healthy Rob Kelley was very good. Unfortunately, he played in about three or four games not healthy and he just kept returning that ankle and we had to put him on IR." Gruden's comments don't jibe with reality, at least regarding Kelley's first issue of the campaign. In Week 2, Kelley's departure was blamed on a rib cartilage injury, which forced one DNP before a return Week 4. During the latter contest, he sustained the initial ankle sprain and continued to aggravate it until his placement on injured reserve midseason. When the Redskins ruled Kelley out for the season, two injuries were to blame: a high-ankle sprain and a Grade 1 or 2 MCL sprain. Kelley was one of many dominoes to fall in the backfield during the year, as all of Chris Thompson (fibula), Byron Marshall (hamstring), LeShun Daniels (hand) and Keith Marshall (knee) landed on IR. With Thompson, Samaje Perine, Kelley and Kapri Bibbs under contract for the 2018 season, it'll be interesting to see how the pecking order breaks down during the offseason program.
The Redskins placed Kelley (ankle) on injured reserve Tuesday, Stephen Czarda of the team's official site reports. Kelley has been plagued by lower-body injuries all season, missing two of the first five games before appearing in each of the Redskins' last four outings. After sustaining a high-ankle sprain and a Grade 1 or 2 MCL sprain Sunday against the Vikings, the team opted for a safe approach and decided to shut him down for the year. Moving forward, Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson will receive most of the offensive reps in their respective realms, while Byron Marshall was plucked off the Eagles practice squad to serve as RB depth.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden confirmed that Kelley (ankle/knee) will miss multiple games, even saying that the running back may be placed on injured reserve later this week, John Keim of ESPN.com reports. Kelley suffered a high-ankle sprain and MCL sprain in Sunday's 38-30 loss to Minnesota, giving way to Samaje Perine after the Redskins' third possession of the game. The rookie fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma will take over as Washington's lead runner, a role he previously handled (with minimal success) in Weeks 2 and 3 when Kelley was battling a rib injury. Perine doesn't have great pass-game skills and is averaging only 3.2 yards on 66 carries with a long gain of 12, but he should essentially be locked in for double-digit touches each week for as long as Kelley's unavailable. Chris Thompson could also pick up a bit of extra work, and the Redskins presumably will sign a third running back.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/23||Green Bay Packers||16||17.38|
|5||10/09||@New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
|8||10/28||@New York Giants||21||17.88|
|10||11/11||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
|14||12/09||New York Giants||21||17.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||115||449||4||8||50||0||73|