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Washington’s running back depth chart following release of Derrius Guice

The Washington backfield could be a wide open competition led by Adrian Peterson for the time being.

Memphis Tigers wide receiver Antonio Gibson runs the 40 yard dash during the 2020 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Washington released running back Derrius Guice on Friday following his arrest on multiple charges connected to three alleged domestic violence incidents this year. The team reportedly learned of the pending arrest on Thursday and announced his release within two hours of the formal arrest.

Guice was the top running back on the team’s depth chart coming into training camp. His departure leaves veteran Adrian Peterson atop the depth chart, but facing several challenges. The rest of the depth chart includes veterans Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic, 2019 fourth round pick Bryce Love, and 2020 third round pick Antonio Gibson.

The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in no in-person workouts this offseason and the cancellation of preseason games. That likely benefits Peterson, who has seniority and the experience to slot right into the starting lineup in Week 1. However, the team’s offseason additions offer value in different ways. Barber is more of a traditional between-the-tackles rusher while McKissic can fill some of Chris Thompson’s pass-catching roles. Love was productive in college, but it remains to be seen how it will translate to the NFL.

Gibson could have the biggest upside. He played wide receiver in college and tests through the roof athletically. Peterson has been going slightly ahead of him in fantasy drafts, and that will likely continue for the time being. But Gibson’s athleticism could get him inching past Peterson sooner than later. Prior to Guice’s release, Gibson was averaging late 14th round in drafts. He could climb into the single digits in short order.