Redskins RB Chris Thompson eager for game action against Bengals

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 08: Chris Thompson #25 of the Washington Redskins runs with the ball as Kurt Coleman #29 of the New Orleans Saints defends at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 8, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 08: Chris Thompson #25 of the Washington Redskins runs with the ball as Kurt Coleman #29 of the New Orleans Saints defends at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 8, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

With the Redskins set to play the Cincinnati Bengals in preseason Week 2 on the home turf at FedEx Field Thursday, RB Chris Thompson will be eager to take out some pent-up aggression on the field against the visiting opponent if given the opportunity.

Veteran running back Chris Thompson was one of many projected impact players that did not see a single snap of game action in the Washington Redskins ugly 30-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns in preseason Week 1.  A Redskins offense supplied primarily of depth players struggled to move the ball at times during the matchup.  Key members of the offense such as Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Jordan Reed, Chase Roullier, Adrian Peterson, Paul Richardson, and Derrius Guice did not see any game action.

While Thompson is eager to see game action against the Cincinnati Bengals, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden might have something else in mind.  In the past, Gruden has not wanted to risk certain impact-type players in meaningless preseason games, as roster spots for these players are essentially locked up.  Based on production in past seasons, Thompson will certainly be considered an impact player going into the 2019 season.

Since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Florida State University, Thompson has always shown the ability to remain productive when healthy.  Coming off a remarkable 10-6 season in 2012 with star rookie’s Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, the Mike Shanahan-led Redskins knew they needed a third-down back capable of adding to an already talented backfield.  While Thompson did not produce as much in 2013 and 2014 due to injuries and lack of opportunities (practice squad member), he did start to show what he was capable of as time passed heading into the Jay Gruden era.

Arguably Thompson’s best season with the team came in 2017, when he finished with 294 rushing yards, 510 receiving yards, and 6 total touchdowns in just ten games.  His shining performance that year came versus the Oakland Raiders when he was able to show his outstanding burst and field vision in taking a screen pass from Kirk Cousins 74 yards for a touchdown.  This would end up being a key play in a Redskins 27-10 beat down of Oakland.

Even though Thompson has remained productive, the knock on him has always been injuries.  With a slight build at 5-foot-8, 195,  the veteran ball carrier has only played in 55 out of a possible 96 regular season games.  In fact, he has only played in all 16 games one time throughout his lengthy career.  Throughout his amateur and professional career, he has dealt with injuries such as: (but not limited to) a torn ACL, torn labrum, fractured vertebrae, fractured fibula, chest bruise, and rib bruise.   As Jay Gruden has gotten more familiar with the oft-injured Thompson, he has realized that Thompson needs a healthy dose of workload management throughout a particular season in order to remain somewhat healthy and effective.

However, going into the game against the Bengals, the former Seminole is chomping at the bit to get back on the field to experience the feel of a real game in preparation for the upcoming season.  Per an interview on the team’s website, Thompson stated on playing in the preseason that “when you finally get that opportunity, you just go in there and go all out especially when you’ve missed a few games”. He further mentioned that “you have a little bit of pent-up aggression as you get tired of going against your teammates every single day”.  Regardless of the mounting injuries that he has faced throughout his career, Thompson has always been a positive role model, and it’s obvious that he has a passion for the game of football.

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Like edge rusher Ryan Kerrigan, Chris Thompson has always been the ultimate core Redskin since being drafted.  He has stayed out of the media spotlight, except for giving local beat writers a good quote after a hard-fought game.  He has always maintained the ability to stay  professional even in times when he could have lambasted his team for a horrible loss.  Thompson is facing free agency after the 2019 season, but could seem to care less as he just wants to play football again.  History says that Thompson will miss more games due to injury, but for the time being, expect nothing but the best from No. 25 in the burgundy and gold.