Derrius Guice: What Release Means for Washington

Former Washington RB Derrius Guice turned himself into Loudon County Police Department around 5PM Friday afternoon. Guice is being charged with three counts of assault and battery (Feb. 14, March 13 and April 17), one count of destruction of property, and one count of strangulation, which is a felony in the state of Virginia.

Before learning about the severity of the charges, HC Ron Rivera placed Guice on an excused leave of absence when he heard about his arrest Thursday. But once he caught wind what exactly Derrius was being charged with, he immediately released Guice.

Here is a statement from the team:

Now what does this mean? It means Ron Rivera is sticking to his word on trying to change the culture within the franchise. The team had no choice but to cut Guice. Remember when Washington claimed LB Reuben Foster off waivers from San Francisco and all of the backlash they got for that? The charges were later dropped, but the team took a huge PR hit. Now, with the chance to “make up” for that decision, they made the right call.

Now to on-field problems: This is nothing new for Washington. Derrius Guice had knee issues coming out of college, had a knee issue in his first preseason game (ACL), another injury in his regular-season debut (torn meniscus), then sprained his MCL later on in the season. It was also rumored that he injured his knee yesterday in practice by NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport. So on-field was never something Washington had to not deal with. They already had plenty of backup plans in case Guice’s injury history reared its ugly head again, but with him now cut (probably facing jail time), the backup plan becomes the new reality.

Now the RB room is starting to clear up, barring any injuries. Adrian Peterson looks to step inonce again and be the “bell cow” RB who will take the majority of the snaps. Next in line is Bryce Love. Last we saw him on a football field, he tore his ACL while playing for Stanford University. When healthy, he was one of college football’s  premier running backs, gaining over 2000 rushing yards his junior season. He dipped down to 739 his senior year, but he was a beast. But that was almost two years ago. Is he the same RB he was, or has his injury robbed him of his skillset?

JD Mckissic and rookie Antonio Gibson will both be used more frequently in the passing game than in the running game. With the departure of Guice, those plans may change, and they both can expect the ball to be in their hands even more in the running game. Peyton Barber looks to be the odd man out and should be used more as a backup/injury replacement guy than a pure starter, but with questions around Bryce Love’s knee, he’s got a roster spot if you ask me today.

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