Trouble In Washington? Commanders Send Strong Message To Antonio Gibson

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Antonio Gibson better learn to hang on to the football.

Gibson, the presumed starting running back for the Washington Commanders, fumbled six times last season and fumbled again in last week’s preseason game against Carolina.

The talented back may be running out of chances to hang on to his role.

“That’s one of the first things that we talk about when we get together as an offense when training camp started is protect the football,” offensive coordinator Scott Turner said. “We can’t waste possessions, and obviously, if you fumble the ball, that’s a waste of a possession.

“That’s a ball carrier’s first job, to protect the ball. We can’t have that.”

Antonio Gibson fumbled again in Saturday’s preseason opener. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Gibson practices with third team in practice

Those comments came after an eventful Tuesday practice for Gibson that saw the 24-year-old line up with just about every team imaginable.

He played with the first-team offense, the second team, the third team and even played special teams!

Essentially, Gibson’s usage was the same as rookie Brian Robinson Jr., which raised eyebrows around camp. Robinson, by the way, impressed in his first preseason game, rushing for 26 yards on six carries and scoring a second-quarter touchdown.

Robinson’s performance, combined with Gibson’s slippery fingers and Turner’s ominous comments, certainly make it seem like there’s something going on in Washington.

Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera played dumb when asked about Antonio Gibson’s interesting usage in practice. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Of course, when asked about Gibson working with the third-teamers, head coach Ron Rivera took a page right out of the Bill Belichick playbook.

“There’s always been a competition for the positions on this team,” Rivera said.

Kudos to you, Riverboat Ron! I give that a strong 8 on the Belichick scale.

In any event, it’s a situation worth monitoring Saturday as the Commanders head to Kansas City.

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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