Red­skins RB Guice out for sea­son with torn ACL

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Stephen Whyno

Wash­ing­ton Red­skins rookie run­ning back Der­rius Guice is out for the sea­son af­ter tear­ing the ACL in his left knee, a sig­nif­i­cant blow to the ground game.

Guice was in­jured in Wash­ing­ton’s pre­sea­son opener at New Eng­land on Thurs­day night and could be seen on the side­line with ice on his knee. The team an­nounced the prog­no­sis Fri­day fol­low­ing an MRI, say­ing Guice should make a full re­cov­ery and be ready to play in 2019.

Guice was ex­pected to be the Red­skins’ starter af­ter they se­lected him 59th over­all in the draft. The LSU prod­uct was con­sid­ered a first-round prospect and fell amid re­ports of char­ac­ter con­cerns be­fore be­ing taken late in the sec­ond.

“Grab­bing him in the sec­ond round was ob­vi­ously a great treat for us, but char­ac­ter was never a con­cern,” coach Jay Gru­den said re­cently, point­ing to in­juries and the qual­ity of run­ning backs as rea­sons for Guice fall­ing in the draft. “He’s been great, never been late, at­ten­tive, great at­ti­tude, al­ways happy, happy-go-lucky and fun to be around, quite frankly.”

Wash­ing­ton av­er­aged 90.5 yards rush­ing last sea­son, fifth­worst in the NFL. In­juries to Week 1 starter Rob Kel­ley and pro­lific third-down back Chris Thompson con­trib­uted to that, and Guice was ex­pected to be a ma­jor part of solv­ing the prob­lem.

“He was sup­posed to be a firstround pick,” Thompson said ear­lier in train­ing camp. “He’s one of those guys we’re ex­pect­ing a lot out of him . ... They’re not ex­pect­ing him to come here and have a 500-yard sea­son. For him, I want 1,000-plus. I want that for him.”

In camp, Guice had been split­ting first-team car­ries with Kel­ley and Sa­maje Per­ine. Gru­den has said there’s com­pe­ti­tion for the No. 1 job along with Thompson, who’s coming back from a bro­ken fibula.

“Had a tough time tryna hold back the tears this morn­ing when I got the news,” Thompson tweeted af­ter Guice’s in­jury was re­vealed. “We had some­thing great go­ing in our room but you know the squad got you every step of the way bro. Heal up and get ready to take over the league next year.”

The com­pe­ti­tion is now wide open af­ter Guice’s sea­son-end­ing in­jury. Kel­ley, a 2016 un­drafted free agent who be­gan last sea­son as the starter, has gone from “Fat Rob” to “Fit Rob” and should now be con­sid­ered the front-run­ner.

“I just make sure I go out there and I make a few plays that the catch the coaches’ eyes and stuff like that and put my­self in a great po­si­tion,” Kel­ley said. “At the end of the day, I can’t pick who wins and lose the com­pe­ti­tion; it’s up to the coaches and stuff like that. So, con­trol what you can con­trol.”

Be­yond Kel­ley, Thompson and Per­ine, the Red­skins have Kapri Bibbs, By­ron Mar­shall and un­drafted Martez Carter as run­ning backs in camp.

In ad­di­tion to Guice, the team says tight end Manasseh Garner, a long shot to make the ros­ter, is out for the sea­son with an ACL in­jury.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Red­skins run­ning back Der­rius Guice, right, evades Pa­tri­ots line­backer Ja’Whaun Bent­ley (51) and de­fen­sive tackle Danny Shel­ton, center, dur­ing the first half of Thurs­day night’s pre­sea­son game in Foxbor­ough, Mass. The As­so­ci­ated Press

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