The constant rehabbing and questions about his knee have been maddening.
“I’ve been unlucky, unfortunately, so far,” Guice said Friday. “I want to be healthy. I want to play. That’s all there is to next season: I want to be healthy. What frustrates me is always talking about it. I’m tired of talking about it. It is what it is at this point. That’s really the frustrating part, not the actual injuries — just to constantly be reminded of it and hear about it all the time.”
Guice said he’s ready to roll now that the MCL sprain has basically healed. This part of rehab is all about building strength in the knee and the muscles around it. There’s a focus on making sure he still has his speed and sharp change of direction, but Guice is ready to go and has something to prove.
The 22-year-old knows he has just two years left on his rookie deal and has yet to prove himself as a reliable commodity.
“I’m realistic,” Guice said. “I think about, pretty much, how this is like my last shot to prove I can stay healthy and contribute. It’s in the back of my head somewhere. It’s definitely there.”
Guice hasn’t had an abundance of interactions with all the new faces at Redskins Park despite spending so much time in the building. He has had short chats with Coach Ron Rivera but hasn’t talked about scheme or gotten a new playbook. Guice called Rivera a “father figure,” with their talks centered more on his health and less about football.
The most significant change so far has been the firing of longtime trainer Larry Hess, who was replaced by former Carolina Panthers trainer Ryan Vermillion. Hess had a plan for Guice’s rehab that they were working through, and there was familiarity between the two about what Guice can do and what causes him to struggle. Vermillion has put his own spin on the rehab as the two build a relationship.
The rest of the offseason has been relatively low-key for the running back outside of some celebrating with Guice’s alma mater, LSU, and a bowling event with fans scheduled for Saturday at Bowlero Annandale. LSU won the College Football Playoff national championship, and Guice went to the White House with the team. There was some social media drama when Guice posted a picture of himself with President Trump in the Oval Office. In his message, Guice said, “All I know is I come from nothing, and it will always be an honor to meet a president of the United States.”
“Everybody’s going to always have differences,” Guice said. “But I’m still going to live my life how I want to.”
What Guice really wants is to be back on the field and producing. His combination of power, speed and elusiveness was evident during summer workouts and training camp after he was drafted, and the Redskins were prepared to make him their No. 1 back before a torn ACL suffered in the first preseason game stopped him in his tracks.
Fast-forward a year to the optimism surrounding Guice’s Week 1 start. But 10 rushes in, he tore his meniscus and missed the next 10 weeks. The best game of his career came in a 29-21 win over Carolina in Week 13 that, coincidentally, was the final game before the Panthers fired Rivera: a 129-yard, two-touchdown masterpiece on just 10 attempts. He had 42 yards on five carries a week later against the Green Bay Packers before he suffered the MCL sprain that ended his season.
“I’m tired of always hearing, ‘He shows glimpses,’ ” Guice said with some annoyance. “I want to show the whole thing. … I want everybody to see everything.
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