Kelley carried nine times for nine yards and secured one of two targets for five yards in Saturday's 21-17 preseason loss to the Packers.
As was the case last week, Kelley found tough sledding on the ground, and he's now totaled 12 carries for 11 yards over two preseason contests. Meanwhile, promising rookie Samaje Perine shined in his opportunity (74 yards on nine touches), presumably putting more pressure on Kelley with respect to the top tailback job. Both backs are likely to see plenty of playing time in next week's contest against the Bengals, with the results potentially pivotal to the slotting at the position moving forward.
Kelley had three carries for two yards and caught his lone target for a five-yard gain in Thursday's preseason opener against Baltimore.
Kelley got the start and clearly worked ahead of Samaje Perine, who had six carries for 15 yards with a dropped pass and a fumble. It was a rough night for the rookie, who hopes to push Kelley for early down work in an offense also featuring pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson. Despite having a slow night himself, Kelley moved a step closer to locking down the Week 1 starting job.
Kelley has been battling a sore neck of late that's limited his practice time, but he'll still enter the preseason as the Redskins' top back. He may need to perform well during exhibition play in order to maintain his spot atop the depth chart, however, as rookie Samaje Perine, a power back with more breakaway speed than Kelley, offers formidable competition for starting duties. Kelley should still be viewed as the favorite to open the season as the Redskins' lead back after averaging a respectable 4.2 yards per carry in 2016, but don't be surprised if coach Jay Gruden still mixes in Perine liberally if the former Oklahoma standout impresses during the preseason. Both Kelly and Perine will likely find themselves on the sidelines on definite passing downs, as Chris Thompson, who is listed second on the depth chart, is the Redskins' clear top receiver out of the backfield.
Kelley (neck) is practicing in full-team drills Saturday after being limited the past two days with a sore neck, ESPN's John Keim reports.
Kelley has been dealing with neck soreness for about a week now and was held out of team drills Thursday and Friday in order to rest. It seems the time off did him well, as Kelley should be good to go moving forward.
Kelley (neck) is on track to remain Washington's starting running back, according to Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post.
Supporting that notion is that Kelley, who experienced neck soreness earlier this week, has been the first running back to garner carries with the first-team offense, when healthy. Tesfatsion notes that Chris Thompson is set to retain his third-down role with the team, but suggests that when it comes to early-down work, Kelley should initially get most of the carries, though coach Jay Gruden may also be inclined to roll with the "hot hand" between Kelley and and promising rookie Samaje Perine. Some form of time-share out of the gate thus appears likely, and while it's trending toward tilting in Kelley's favor to start the season, Perine continues to present a challenge on that front.
|P4||8/31/17||@ TB||7:30 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|4||10/2/17||@ KC||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|7||10/23/17||@ PHI||8:30 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ SEA||4:05 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|13||11/30/17||@ DAL||8:25 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ LAC||4:05 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ NYG||1:00 pm|