The Washington Football Team is coming off of a 3-13 season, but there is one position where they have appear to have plenty of talent: running back. With one of the best backs in NFL history who refuses to slow down in Adrian Peterson and then a young star in Derrius Guice, it certainly didn't appear to be a position Washington would look to add to this offseason, but that's exactly what new head coach Ron Rivera did. Apart from signing Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic in free agency, Washington also spent a third-round pick on former Memphis weapon Antonio Gibson -- who will be listed as a running back. Even with all of these additions, there's still another player who may end up playing a major role for Washington in the backfield this upcoming season.
Bryce Love was selected by Washington in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The former Stanford star fell down draft boards after tearing his ACL on the final play of his collegiate career and didn't play a single snap during his rookie season. Now, however, the former Heisman runner-up is back healthy and ready to make an impact at the next level.
During a Tuesday Zoom call, Rivera told reporters that Love had passed his physical and that he will get to compete at the running back position. Rivera said that they will want to watch him "closely," and that they are excited about his potential in the backfield, according to Kyle Stackpole of Washington's official website.
In four years at Stanford, Love rushed for 3,865 yards and 30 touchdowns. He was one of the most dynamic running backs in college football over the past few seasons, and rushed for an incredible 2,118 yards during his junior season.
"This kid, unbelievable," Kyle Smith said last year, who serves as Washington's Director of College Scouting. "2017 he finished what, second in the Heisman? He was 2,000 yards rushing, eight-point something average, tremendous production, he had an unfortunate injury this year in the last game of the year with the ACL. He's (ahead of) schedule of coming back, we are going to take it slow with him but at that position, fourth round -- it was a pick that -- the guy was graded so high we couldn't pass him up. So we will add him to the mix and we'll take it slow and be patient with him."
Both Peterson and Guice are definitively above Love on the depth chart, but the former is now 35 and the latter has played in just five games in two years due to injuries. Gibson is someone who will probably line up in several different spots on offense and work primarily as a gadget player while Barber and McKissic are going to have to compete for a roster spot. If Peterson finally begins to regress and Guice struggles with injuries again, there's a possibility Love will have the opportunity to play a major role in the backfield this season.