Scouting Report: Washington Redskins Running Back Derrius Guice

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Vito Chirco

The injury bug has been no friend to Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice through his first two seasons in the NFL.

In fact, the second-year back missed all of his rookie campaign with a torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered during a preseason tilt with the New England Patriots last August.

It was the same knee that he hyperextended during his time at LSU but never had surgery on.

Speaking of his time at LSU, he was a standout during his three years in Baton Rouge (2015-17).

He rushed for 3,074 yards and 29 touchdowns on 471 carries -- good for an average of 6.5 yards per carry.

He rushed for 1,000-plus yards in each of his final two seasons with the Tigers, including 1,387 yards and 15 scores during his sophomore campaign.  

He rushed for another 1,251 yards and 11 TDs during his junior season.

His impressive career at LSU, which included second-team All-SEC honors in 2017 and first-team All-SEC honors in 2016, got him drafted by the Redskins in the second round -- No. 59 overall -- of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Since joining the Skins, the injury bug has constantly reared its ugly head for Guice.  

Not only did he miss all of 2018 due to injury, but he's also played in only two games so far this season.

He tore the meniscus in his right knee in the Redskins' Week 1 contest with the Philadelphia Eagles -- a 32-27 loss that started a string of five straight losses to open up the 2019 campaign.

He didn't return to game action until last week against the New York Jets -- a game in which he rushed seven times for 24 yards. 

He also caught a screen pass that he impressively took 45 yards to the house, evading multiple defenders on the way. It was his first career NFL touchdown. 


Going into Sunday's game against the Lions, Guice will be part of a crowded backfield in Washington. 

He will have to compete for carries with future Pro Football Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson -- who recorded nine rushes a week ago -- and seventh-year back Chris Thompson -- who is likely to return to action this week after missing four straight games with turf toe.

It's a balancing act that the Washington coaching staff plans to manage based on utilizing the running back that best suits the concept drawn up and deployed on a given play, per staff writer Zach Selby.

Regarding how all three backs will be utilized Sunday, Redskins interim head man Bill Callahan commented, “I think [running backs coach] Randy Jordan has done a tremendous job managing the backs throughout the course of the game, knowing when to inject them and when to substitute them in and out on their strengths and weaknesses and also by game plan dictation."

It means that more than likely none of the three backs will receive a heavy workload against the Lions -- no more than 10 carries and a couple of receptions per back.

The trio of Washington backs collectively, though, should have their way against the Lions' porous rush defense -- ranked 24th in the league at 124.2 yards allowed per game.

For Guice, specifically, I'm projecting nine carries for a career-high 33 yards -- yes, you read that right -- to go along with two catches for 34 yards.

There's not much to watch for beside for Guice in this lackluster matchup between the 1-9 Redskins and 3-6-1 Lions -- a game that is arguably the weakest among the Week 12 slate of action.

More: Lions-Redskins Preview with Chris Russell of SI Redskins Maven