LANDOVER -- Running back wasn't the top need for the Washington Redskins during free agency, but it seemed plausible they could kick some veteran tires considering Alfred Morris wasn't coming back.
There was logic in thinking the team might spend an early-to-mid-round pick on a runner seeing as they didn't address that area in free agency and had little experience returning from last season.
It seemed possible the Redskins would add a running back before or during training camp seeing as starter Matt Jones and scatback Chris Thompson both have injury histories, and the backup options have a combined zero NFL regular season games on their résumés.
After the running game showed little in the preseason opener, nobody would have thought twice if the Redskins added a back.
The Redskins never did make a move despite these and perhaps other reasons -- and it's never made much sense.
Yes, some will note that by waiting until Week 2 of the regular season, the Redskins could add help without adding a guaranteed contract. There's merit to that argument if even just some of the above concerns didn't exist. That they all do would make the defending NFC East champions penny wise and pound foolish.
It's cool to believe Jones has the goods. I gulped some of that Kool-Aid even before Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan identified the second-year RB as the team's 2016 breakout star during a training camp interview with NBC 4's Carol Maloney. My eyes remained wide open about time he missed at Florida and during his rookie season with various bumps and bruises.
That he also fumbled far too frequently last year is no mere afterthought. Jones appeared to lose control of one of his seven carries before leaving Washington's second preseason game with an AC sprain in his left shoulder.
Another argument involves the disposal nature of running backs. There's a reason why so few are selected in the early rounds of the NFL Draft. Picking one up for immediate help can work. That's the emergency plan, however, not the first draft.
Perhaps the best excuse of all involves the current state of the free agent pool. Joique Bell? Chris Polk? Fred Jackson? This crew is motlier than the one with Tommy Lee and Vince Neil. The head-banging here involves the same ol' situations mentioned earlier. The Redskins walked on the wild side by not adding a running back months ago when some options had looks that kill.
The time frame on an AC sprain can vary from no issues to several weeks. With good luck, the Redskins will have Jones on the field for their Week 1 clash against Pittsburgh on Monday night. With this latest scare, they should bring some veteran help to Redskins Park by next week. Robert Kelley, Keith Marshall and Mack Brown are promising. With the regular season kicking off Sept. 12 and Jones already hurt, the future is now.
They could also wait until other teams start cutting players. Seeing as the Redskins passed on other possibly advantageous situations, who knows what they're thinking.
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