Will the Eagles line up against 33-year-old Adrian Peterson this season?
The seven-time Pro Bowler is in Washington today to work out with the Redskins. Fellow veterans Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darkwa were in town yesterday for the same reason.
Jay Gruden needs depth at RB because his team has been wracked with injuries through two preseason games.
Here’s what their depth chart currently looks like:
- Chris Thompson – coming off a broken fibula
- Rob Kelley – healthy
- Derrius Guice – out for the season (ACL)
- Samaje Perrine – ankle injury
- ex-Eagle Byron Marshall – ankle injury
- Kapri Bibbs – borderline to make the team
- Martez Carter – waived (leg injury)
So they’ve got a handful of serviceable guys and not much behind them. Thompson missed the final six games of the 2017 season.
Washington had one of the NFL’s worst rushing attacks last year, finishing 28th out of 32 teams with 1,448 yards on the ground and 3.6 yards per attempt. They put up 90.5 yards per game and fumbled the ball 10 times.
Thompson finished with 294 yards last year and Kelley with 194 yards. They combined for five touchdowns while Kirk Cousins ran for four scores himself.
Perine actually finished as the team’s top runner, putting up 603 yards and one touchdown and doing most of his work in the back-half of the season after Thompson went out. He didn’t carry the ball in either game against the Eagles.
That was a strength for the Birds in two wins against Washington. In the first game, Jim Schwartz’s unit held the Skins to just 64 yards on the ground. Kelley got the bulk of the carries:
In the home win, the Eagles were similarly successful, even without Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks on the field:
Better, but still not much going for Washington against the Eagles’ top-three rushing defense at the time.
So keep an eye on what the Redskins do here. Alex Smith could turn out to be the second coming of Bart Starr, but it might not matter if they can’t move the ball on the ground. The Eagles were excellent at clobbering one-dimensional teams last year.
They get the Redskins in week 13 and week 17, so those games could possibly be uber-important if the Birds are jostling for playoff positioning during the home stretch.