Antonio Gibson was outstanding for Washington as a rookie in 2020. The third-round pick from Memphis rushed for 795 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.
Gibson reached those numbers despite missing two games late in the season and being hobbled with a toe injury throughout December.
Now, Gibson is healthy and more comfortable in Washington’s offense. In addition, the Football Team added veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to open up the passing game, raising expectations even higher for Gibson in year two.
The Athletic recently named breakout candidates for all 32 teams, and Ben Standig, who covers the Washington Football Team, chose Gibson as his breakout player.
Antonio Gibson had more than 1,000 combined yards from scrimmage with 36 receptions and 11 touchdowns as a rookie. That sounds like the definition of a breakout performance for a running back selected in the third round. Just remember that Gibson primarily played receiver at Memphis and had only 33 carries during his final season. No wonder he was slow to read his running lanes early on for Washington. Yet he still averaged 4.7 yards per carry and managed to find the end zone frequently despite playing in a lackluster offense that ranked 25th in scoring and cycled through four quarterbacks. Now there’s Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, a greater pool of playmakers and an experienced version of Gibson ready to run his game up another level.
The most impressive part of Gibson’s rookie season was that 4.7 yards per rushing attempt. And the lack of negative rushes for Gibson.
Another reason to be more optimistic regarding Gibson in 2021 is Washington would like to get the former wide receiver more involved in the passing game.