Antonio Gibson laughs when asked how his off-day is going.
Most NFL teams don’t practice on Tuesdays as they prepare for Sunday games, giving players some valuable free time away from football. Gibson, however, spent nearly six hours getting treatment at the Washington Football Team‘s practice facility on what should have been a day off.
Thus is life for an NFL running back, especially one still new to a bell-cow role. What’s “treatment” for a player with 237 touches on the season, including 109 combined carries and catches over the last four weeks (second-most in the NFL)?
“Ice, ice tub, cold tub, dry needling, stretching, H-Wave, compact, anything that feels like it helps me out,” Gibson told PFF this week. “Weight room, little small movements. Get your body right.”
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Gibson's season began slowly, as the second-year running back played through a stress fracture in his shin and Washington struggled to a 2-6 record before its Week 9 bye. Gibson’s shin is “all good” now, however, and his workload has increased as Washington turned its season around with a four-game winning streak since the bye week.
Gibson averaged just 16 touches per game over the first eight weeks of the season, and he’s seen his volume increase to 27.3 touches per game during the win streak. The 2020 third-round pick believes game script is the biggest determining factor in his increased workload.
|Week||Rushing Attempts||Rushing Yards||Rushing Touchdowns||Rushing Grade|
|1-8 (Average per game)||13.9||55.3||0.4||64.2|
|9||BYE WEE||BYE WEEK||BYE WEEK||BYE WEEK|
|10-13 (Average per week)||23.75||89||0.5||59.8|
“I feel like that’s a team thing,” Gibson said. “Staying ahead of the game, keeping the lead, being able to run the ball more in situations closing the game. I feel like that’s what’s increased me getting the ball more. Being able to control the game at the end of the game, controlling the pace of the game, things like that.”
Gibson has also begun to show off his potential as a pass-catcher recently, which is huge for his overall developmental goals. Twelve of his 31 catches on the season have come in the last two weeks. The college wide receiver aspires to be an all-around playmaker as his career continues.
“I just want to be one of the best athletes to touch the field,” Gibson said. “I don’t want to be stuck in a one-dimensional thing like, ‘Oh, he was a good running back.’ Like, ‘Nah, you can move this guy around the field. Wherever you put him, he can excel and he can impact the game.’ That’s something that I want to leave on the game, for sure.”