We’ve spoken at great length about the Washington Football Team’s injury woes this season. It feels like every week the final injury report features a handful of foundational pieces, and Week 7 was no different.
Sure, other teams have sustained a greater magnitude of injuries, but you can’t underestimate that Washington has played a chunk of the season without its starting quarterback, stud tight end, and prized free agent receiver.
For the sake of time, though, let’s focus on the running back position.
You might be thinking, “The running back position? But Antonio Gibson has played every game this season.” You’d be correct. However, the second-year RB has been playing through a stress fracture in his shin for the last three weeks.
Gibson has been labeled as questionable in each of those contests, and it just feels like Washington should do right by the 23-year-old star and shut him down so he can rest up and get back to 100%.
In the event that Washington exercises that option, let’s highlight some dream acquisitions they could consider to replace Gibson.
3 dream RB acquisitions for the Washington Football Team
3. D’Ernest Johnson
Let’s start by saying that this article is no way an indictment on JD McKissic. The 28-year-old vet is simply better suited in his current role as a third-down back and specialist in obvious passing situations. If Gibson goes on the shelf, Washington will need an early-down back to assume his role.
That brings us to D’Ernest Johnson, who absolutely balled out for the Browns in primetime on Thursday night. Making his first career start, Johnson took 25 carries for 157 yards and a touchdown.
Simply put, Johnson looked like a natural. His vision was superb and lateral movement on jump cuts had Denver’s defense reeling. He turned something out of nothing on numerous occasions and showcased an ability to bounce off tackles in the trenches that you wouldn’t expect from a 5-foot-8 running back.
The Browns might be reluctant to unload Johnson ahead of the trade deadline given the injuries to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, but that could change if they make swift recoveries and if they start receiving calls on Johnson.
The moment didn’t prove to be too big for Johnson, proving he’d slide into Gibson’s role as the early-down RB without a hitch.