Gruden has 'great dilemma' with RBs Peterson, Guice

The Washington Redskins have a crowded backfield with the return of Adrian Peterson, who signed a two-year deal during free agency.

Peterson, who turned 34 in March, projects to split carries with Derrius Guice, but head coach Jay Gruden certainly doesn't see that scenario as a problem.

"Having A.P. back is nice," Gruden said, via Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post. "He rushed for over 1,000 yards. He's a little bit older, but he doesn't look it. He's in great shape. Saw him the other day. It's a great dilemma to have those two guys."

The Redskins selected Guice in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft with a view to make him the featured running back. A torn ACL suffered in preseason action last season, however, ended Guice's rookie campaign before it began and Peterson later joined the team on a one-year deal in the wake of other backfield injuries.

Peterson responded by leading the team in rushing with 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns on 251 carries. The veteran's continued presence signals Guice won't need to rush his recovery process, which by Guice's own account has gone well after early issues.

And Gruden indicated the team will take it slowly with Guice as he works his way back.

"He's young, I'm sure it'll be effortless for him to get back in shape, but still, we're talking about a major knee injury for a running back," Gruden said. "So, it's something we have to really look at and make sure he's 100 percent. And make sure he still runs with the same type of energy and charisma and effort he played with before the injury, because sometimes those injuries have an effect on you mentally. I don't think it will with Derrius ... but still, you never know."

In the meantime, Washington is set to enter the offseason workout program with running backs that complement each other well with a mix of veteran savvy and different skill sets.

In addition to Peterson and Guice, the Redskins have the versatile Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine, a player Gruden hopes to give more opportunities in 2019.

"The guy who I really want to see is, who everybody thinks he's in my doghouse, is Samaje," Gruden said. "Samaje has not gotten the opportunities, I'm upset about that. That's my fault. But I have not given up on Samaje. He's young, he's strong, he's physical and I need to see him take that next step."

The Redskins finished the 2018 season ranked 17th in rushing, averaging 110.9 yards per game. A full complement of running backs would only help improve the statistical standing during the upcoming regular season.

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