Commanders should utilize RB Antonio Gibson
Antonio Gibson lost a fumble in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, bringing back frightening flashbacks of his thought-to-be-solved prior problems with ball security. The Washington Commanders former lead running back coughed up the ball six times over his first two seasons, leading those in power to select Alabama rusher Brian Robinson Jr. in the third round of last year's NFL Draft.
The added competition in the backfield led to a notable season for Gibson when it came to protecting the football. He finished the 2022 campaign without losing a single fumble but eventually ceded his starting role to Robinson once the then-rookie runner returned from injuries suffered in a shocking preseason carjacking attempt.
While Gibson indeed had a down season in terms of his overall rushing output and efficiency, the versatile running back was at his best as a pass catcher out of the backfield, setting personal bests after snagging a career-high 46 receptions for 353 receiving yards.
So far in 2023, Gibson has for all intents and purposes been a virtual non-factor in the Commanders offensive gameplan. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound moveable chess piece has been on the field for 42 percent of Washington's offensive snaps through two weeks but has totaled just nine touches for 72 scoreless yards.
There's no denying that Gibson is a talented player. This is evidenced by his 26 total touchdowns over his first three seasons, while also boasting a 1,000-yard rushing campaign on his resume.
But with Robinson proving more than capable of handling a full-time workload and Gibson again showing his issues with ball security, the fourth-year running back has not been utilized as much as many originally surmised he would be so far in a critical contract year.
Due to his proficiency as a pass catcher and his ability to make defenders miss in space, Gibson should theoretically be a pivotal part of Eric Bieniemy's game plan going forward. The ever-important caveat is that the explosive running back must avoid turnovers at all costs when his opportunities inevitably arise.