Washington Needs to Free Antonio Gibson

Jason Schandl
Antonio Gibson is one of Washington's best players, and they need to get him more involved in the offense.
Antonio Gibson is one of Washington's best players, and they need to get him more involved in the offense. / Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Football Team was never expected to be a contender in 2020 after landing the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Instead, this season should be about getting experience for their young talent and building toward being a playoff contender as early as next season.

That's why it's been such a travesty to watch Ron Rivera refuse to feature Antonio Gibson as a focal point of the offense.

A third-round rookie out of Memphis, Gibson was thrust into a larger role than expected when Derrius Guice was released prior to the season. He's been outstanding in that role so far.

Heading into Week 5, Gibson was one of Pro Football Focus (PFF)'s highest-graded offensive rookies. Not only that, but only two Washington players (wide receiver Terry McLaurin and tackle Morgan Moses) have higher offensive grades than Gibson on the season.

That makes it all the more frustrating to see Gibson barely out-snapping journeyman J.D. McKissic, who is on his third NFL team since 2018. In fact, through five games McKissic has actually played more snaps (160) than Gibson (147).

Gibson does have the most rush attempts (55) on the team, but considering his experience as a wide receiver at the collegiate level, there's no excuse for having him fifth on the team with 17 targets while McKissic has 25.

Whether it's Kyle Allen or Alex Smith at QB, Ron Rivera needs to structure this offense to feature their young talent. That means getting Gibson much more heavily involved as both a rusher and receiver.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.