RICHMOND — Matt Jones is the likely top dog in the running backs corps as the Washington Redskins head into training camp, but there are concerns — his surgically repaired hip and his fumbling issues, first and foremost. And while the 23-year-old running back, who rushed for 480 rushing yards, three touchdowns and 3.4 yards per carry last season, is expected to be a factor from Week 1, the concerns are enough to evaluate the rest of the running back depth.
After the team moved on from Alfred Morris during free agency, it is thin on experienced running backs. Behind Jones on the depth chart is Chris Thompson, who is expected to take on a lot of carries during the preseason; Keith Marshall; Mack Brown; Robert Kelley; and Kelsey Young.
Coach Jay Gruden did not rule out the possibility Wednesday that the team could add another veteran free agent to compete with the group.
“We could [look at free agents],” Gruden said. “There are some guys who looked pretty good during minicamp. Chris Thompson is coming back and looked good. Obviously, Mack Brown was on the practice squad last year. Robert Kelley is the rookie free agent we picked up. Keith Marshall we’re excited about. We have some guys that we’re going to look out for.”
And while Gruden gave praise to several of the running back in camps, he again noted that picking up another player off the market is not out of the realm of possibility.
“If it doesn’t work out, for every position, we count on the scouting staff to check on who’s available, but hopefully we don’t have to go out and do that,” Gruden said. “If we do, there are going to be good players coming.”
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