- The Washington Times - Friday, December 22, 2017

ASHBURN, Virginia — Kapri Bibbs has a beef with the Denver Broncos.

The Washington Redskins running back said facing his former team “means everything” after Denver traded him to the San Francisco 49ers in April. Bibbs, an undrafted free agent in 2014, spent the first three years of his career in Denver, first with the practice squad before dressing for 12 games in 2016.

“They took me for granted for three years,” Bibbs said. “They sprinkled me in plays. They saw my talent. Every time they gave me the ball, I made the most of it. For them to trade me and put me out there for the world, I want to show them they made a huge mistake.”

He suddenly may have a lot of opportunities to prove his worth. There’s a good chance Bibbs — who signed to the active roster just 10 days ago — will be the Redskins’ feature back because of injuries to starter Samaje Perine and backup LeShun Daniels.

Perine, the Redskins’ leading rusher with 547 yards, was listed as questionable against the Broncos after tweaking his groin Thursday during drills. Perine said Friday that he was “good,” but Redskins coach Jay Gruden said they’ll have a better idea Saturday if he can play.

“I don’t know exactly what happened, it was sore from the game,” Perine said. “I guess it just decided to give out on me. … I’ve played through worse before. It ain’t no big deal.”

Even if Perine is able to play, Gruden said the running back could be on a “pitch count” to limit his reps. If that’s the case, Bibbs would start. 

Bibbs is coming off an impressive debut with the Redskins, in which he notched a 36-yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Cardinals. The running back used a screen pass and his speed to beat multiple defenders down the field.

Last week, he was used primarily as the Redskins’ third-down back, but said he is looking forward to an increased role.

Bibbs was out of football for most of the season after failing to make the 49ers’ roster in training camp. He joined the Redskins’ practice squad Nov. 24 before being elevated to the 53-man roster in December. 

Bibbs said he isn’t naturally known as a “receiving running back,” pointing to his stats at Colorado State where he caught just eight passes in 2013, his only season with the Rams.

“I’m a runner by nature,” said Bibbs, who had 1,741 rushing yards for 31 touchdowns at Colorado State. “That’s what God made me first.”

The Redskins will likely have a tough time running the ball against the Broncos. Denver is holding teams to just 88.1 rushing yards per game — fourth-best in the league.

And Washington hasn’t been able to run the football for three straight games, managing just 31 yards against the Cardinals.

Part of the problem centers around the injures.

The Redskins have lost second-year starter Rob Kelley and their most versatile player, Chris Thompson. Kelley went on injured reserve Nov. 14 with a high-ankle sprain. Thompson, who was placed on IR on Nov. 22, broke his fibula against the New Orleans Saints and needed surgery.

The Redskins also put backup Byron Marshall, who was signed on Nov. 14, on IR with a hamstring injury on Dec. 12. 

The team’s injury “luck” took another hit Thursday when Daniels fractured his hand fielding a kickoff.

Washington also promoted running back Dare Ogunbowale from the practice squad to give them an insurance option, making space by placing tackle Trent Williams on IR. Bibbs and Ogunbowale were the Redskins’ only running backs who practiced Thursday.

Bibbs, meanwhile, said he’s “ecstatic” for the chance to prove himself.

“I don’t blink,” he said “This is meant for me.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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