- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When Sunday arrives, Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden will have decided on his running backs. The next two days will have a strong influence on determining who is in that group on game day.

Alfred Morris and fullback Darrel Young will play. Gruden has to figure out who the other two backs will be, choosing from Matt Jones, Chris Thompson and Pierre Thomas.

Jones has not played the last two games because of a hip pointer. Thompson played last week, but had a toe problem crop up afterward. Thompson also tore the labrum in his left shoulder in a game against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 7, which caused him to miss two games. Thomas played the last two games despite spraining a knee in a practice.

Gruden said his final choice will be between Thompson and Jones, with health being the major factor.

“I think it’s between those two guys right now,” Gruden said. “We’ll make a determination on Friday or Saturday.”

Jones was limited on Wednesday, which concerned Gruden.

“So, unless he shows us some major improvement tomorrow and Friday, he’s going to be the odd man out,” Gruden said. “So, we’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow. If they are all four healthy, then we’ll have to make that determination come Friday or Saturday.”

Thompson said it takes him some time to warm up, but after that, he’s able to move fine.

“My pain tolerance is pretty high,” Thompson said. “I can deal with a lot more stuff than other people probably can.”

He and Jones know how much they participate in practice this week will determine if they play, or are at least active, for the Redskins‘ first playoff game since 2012. There is a balance between putting in the work and not aggravating an injury.

“We’re really just trying both to make sure we’re ready,” Thompson said. “It’s huge for us. Hopefully, by Sunday … I know for sure I’ll be fine. I think Matt will, too, as long as he’s being smart through the week. We both need to be ready and healthy for Sunday.”

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