Despite Jay Gruden making a gut call to rest several Washington Redskins stars, one key player fell victim to injury as starting running back Matt Jones suffered a shoulder sprain. Now Washington may be in scramble mode to bring aboard a veteran back with the possibility that Jones could miss time. In other words, the Redskins' running back plans need a revision. Here are five possible and available options on the market.
This otherwise blah crew received a surprise addition Saturday as the Bills released the former Florida State product. Williams, 23, was a fifth-round selection in last year's draft and has a higher ceiling than anyone else on this list. The downside is Williams will serve a four-game suspension to start the year, which will likely mean he fails to make up for Jones' absence unless the Washington back has suffered an extremely significant shoulder sprain. With a spot open on the 90-man roster, the Redskins could take a look at the slasher who recorded 517 yards on the ground, averaged 5.6 yards per rush and banked nine touchdowns in 2015. Then again, they might be turned off by his poor work ethic and physical shape.
The former Detroit Lions runner is intriguing because of his solid production over the past four years. Bell recorded 2,235 rushing yards, 1,640 yards receiving, and 23 touchdowns during that span. Whatever the 30-year old's cost, Washington has the flexibility to get Bell into camp if they fear Jones will miss regular season time.
The third-overall pick from 2012 has bounced around from Cleveland to Indianapolis to Oakland to Baltimore and failed to gain traction anywhere. Richardson would only get a serious look from Washington if he has fully recovered from a hamstring injury and knee scope that landed him on the Ravens' PUP list. If the Redskins are looking for an experienced rusher, Richardson has 614 NFL carries. Current backup Chris Thompson has only 38. If general manager Scot McCloughan sees anything in the Alabama back who once wowed in the SEC, it might be worth checking out Richardson's medicals. Then again, probably not.
After playing second fiddle to Adrian Peterson for four seasons, Gerhart tried to catch on as the lead dog in Jacksonville. Unfortunately for the Stanford product, things never went as planned. A groin injury ended his second season with the Jaguars early and he was released when the team decided T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory were better options. Gerhart would come at a cheap price and could be a nice Band-Aid for the Redskins as the bruising type that the organization has started to enjoy.
The most obvious choice for Washington is the backup running back they already had within the organization last season. Thomas recorded only 52 yards on the ground and another 84 through the air in four regular season games, but he easily blended into the offensive schemes thanks to his overall work in the passing game. There are all kinds of reasons why Thomas did not come to training camp, including the 31-year old not wanting to to put his body through that physical boot camp. Read up on what Gruden said about him back in March.
Bonus Options: Chris Polk, Ahmad Bradshaw, Montee Ball, Zac Stacy, Roy Helu, Ray Rice
Keep your eyes peeled to Breaking Burgundy for any breaking news regarding Jones or a running back signing. Also expect more running backs like Williams to hit the open market after rosters are cut to 75 men by 4 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 30.
Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.
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