Derrius Guice placed on IR as Redskins prepare to move forward
RICHMOND The Washington Redskins returned Saturday to Bon Secours Training Center missing one explosive, blonde-dreadlocked rookie. Though Derrius Guice is a fan favorite in the making, it was hard to spot his No. 29 jersey among the crowds of fans at the Redskins’ first practice since Thursday night’s preseason opener.
Guice was officially placed on injured reserve Saturday after an MRI the previous day revealed he tore his ACL in Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots.
“We’re obviously very upset for Derrius. He’s put a lot of work in and (had) a very promising rookie season ahead of him,” coach Jay Gruden said. “But unfortunately these injuries happen. He’s a great kid, he’s going to work hard to recover, so there’s no problem there.”
Gruden indicated the team will not seek to add a running back and joked that Guice was “sixth string on the depth chart,” a reference to the team’s unofficial depth chart last week that placed Guice behind five other backs.
But it is clear the Redskins would rather have Guice, whom Gruden touted as “explosive” but also multifaceted.
“What we didn’t really know about him, because he didn’t do it a lot at LSU, was his hands, his catching ability,” Gruden said. “And his pass blocking skills were pretty darn good. He picked up a safety blitz in the game the other night. We were impressed with his total package, not just his running skills.”
Guice was the No. 59 overall pick in April, but was projected to be taken much earlier.
Fellow running back Chris Thompson wrote on Twitter Friday that it was tough trying to “hold back the tears” when he learned his teammate would miss his rookie season.When addressing it with reporters for the first time, Thompson did in fact wipe some tears away.
“I’ll be honest, this is my first time ever shedding tears for a player,” Thompson said. “Our group, we’ve come so close to each other in such a short period of time. Just to see one of the guys going down and I guess ’cause I’m the older guy in the room now, it hurts even more because I feel like that’s my little brother. That’s my dude. I gotta do everything to help all those guys grow.”
Had a tough time tryna hold back the tears this morning when I got the news. 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. @DhaSickest pic.twitter.com/3bHv3Oh8Ql Chris Thompson (@ChrisThompson_4) August 10, 2018
Rob Kelley added the team would try to “pick up where we left off” to show Guice they had his back.
“I know Derrius, I know his mindset,” Kelley said. “I know he’ll come back stronger than ever and that’s all I told him, just come back ready and come back stronger than ever. Show people what they missing out on.”
Tight end Manasseh Garner also tore an ACL during Thursday’s game. The Redskins placed him on injured reserve with Guice and waived fullback Elijah Wellman with an injury designation. They signed free agent tight end J.P. Holtz, linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive lineman Jalen Wilkerson to fill out the 90-man roster.