Gruden: Redskins ground game 'going through' Kelley


Washington's churning and evolving backfield has a new lead dog.

"Right now, I think it's going through Robert Kelley as I stand up here right now," Redskins coach Jay Gruden told reporters on Monday, per CSN Mid-Atlantic.

The shift comes on the heels of second-year back Matt Jones suffering through a pair of fumbles against the Lions in Week 7 before a knee injury kept him out of Week 8's tilt against the Bengals in London.

An undrafted rookie, Kelley stepped in to plow through Cincinnati for 87 yards off 21 attempts to bring his season yards-per-carry average to a solid five yards. He doesn't blow you away with his speed or moves, but Kelly has operated as a strong and reliable option when called upon.

Still, the Redskins need Jones to contribute down the stretch. He's had his moments this season, crossing the 100-yard barrier twice and looking sensational in a physical Week 6 mauling of the Eagles. Strip away the ball-control issues and Jones might not be in this position.

Gruden made it clear, though, that the pecking order remains fluid, saying: "That could change come Thursday or Friday, but Matt will get his touches and earn his way back into the role that we think he should be in."

Washington also has Chris Thompson on the roster as an intriguing change-of-pace runner, but the 'Skins need someone to step in and provide consistent production. The big-bodied Kelley has stumbled into a major opportunity.