Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson was looking forward to a breakout campaign in 2018. He had worked diligently to recover from an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve a season ago. But Thompson has now missed four games this year due to ribs injuries, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be back this Sunday against the Houston Texans.

The pain continues to linger, and there isn’t much Thompson can do about it. There is no active rehab treatment for injured ribs, just rest, and that’s the last thing Thompson wants to be doing as Washington attempts to solidify its hold on first place in the NFC East. The 6-3 start is the best for the organization since 2008.

“I can’t lie and say I’ve been handling it well, because I haven’t,” said Thompson, who is typically known as having one of the most upbeat personalities in the Redskins' locker room. “It’s real frustrating for me because I always want to be out there. I felt like I put together a really good offseason to be able to come back from this ankle injury. First couple games I was feeling good, and then it just seems like things started to happen after that. ...

“I’ve missed way too many games, in my opinion. This team, the owner, the president, Doug [Williams], all of those guys, they pay me to be here and be able to play week in and week out. For me to not be able to be out there, it’s super frustrating and I just got to do everything I can to try to stay positive every day, but it’s hard.”

Thompson missed two games — against the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys — after injuring his ribs against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5. But he returned to face the New York Giants, just to suffer another injury to his ribs. The new one has kept him from the last two games, and he is considered day-to-day. Thompson said he feels better, but his status for this week’s Houston game will probably be another game-time decision. Rib injuries can be aggravated almost every time a person moves. Whether it’s jogging, bending over or simply breathing, the body’s core is involved in those movements.

Depending on the severity, many injured players that are considered questionable will come out and watch practice or work with trainers in the rehab area. Thompson hasn’t been able to do that.

“It’s even hard to be out there at practice,” Thompson said. “That’s kind of one of the reasons I haven’t been out at the practices, too, because it’s just hard being out there. I can’t do anything outside of being uncomfortable standing for too long, sitting for too long. . . . I’ve just got to focus on trying to get better and being patient, because sometimes with ribs it can happen quick or it can be a slow process.”

The patience is the hardest part. The Redskins are winning, but desperately need more playmakers on offense. The team hasn’t scored more than two offensive touchdowns in a game since Week 3, and its 19.6 points per game ranks 26th in the NFL. The team hasn’t been able to get many chunk plays or yards after the catch, and that’s Thompson’s specialty.

“As long as I can get to a point that I can be able to manage it, and we can be able to manage it through a game, we’ll be back out there,” Thompson said.

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