- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2017

ASHBURN — Washington Redskins running back Rob Kelley (MCL, high ankle sprain) and linebacker Will Compton (Lisfranc sprain) will miss at least the next few weeks after suffering injuries in Sunday’s 38-30 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, coach Jay Gruden said Monday.

Gruden said both players could be candidates for injured reserved.

“I think it depends how much time,” Gruden said. “Three, 4, 5, 6 weeks. We’ll have to wait and see. Gather that information and see how many roster spots we have for other guys to fill voids.”

The injuries are the latest setback for Kelley, who has struggled in his second NFL season. Kelley suffered the injuries in the first half of the Vikings game and did not return.

Gruden said Kelley’s status for IR will be determined in the coming days.

In the meantime, the Redskins will also likely sign another running back as Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson are the only healthy running backs on the roster.

Washington released fourth-string running back Mack Brown Oct. 28 to make room for guard Arie Kouandjio, when the Redskins were dealing with a slew of injuries on their offensive line. Mack, however, isn’t an option as he was claimed on waivers by the Minnesota Vikings.

Gruden said the Redskins have a list of four-to-five running backs they are targeting to fill a roster spot.

In Kelley’s absence, rookie Samaje Perine will likely take an expanded role. Drafted in the fourth-round out of Oklahoma, Perine has struggled this season — having issues receiving handoffs and with yards after contact.

Gruden said Perine should benefit with more carries because he’s the type of back who gets stronger as the game goes on. Perin is averaging just 3.18 yards per carry on 66 rushing attempts.

“I just want to see more production,” Gruden said. “That’s all, and he’s got to get the opportunity. We’ve got to see, like I said, if we we have a guy unblocked in the the hole, it’s run him over or make him miss, something, or make sure we continue to get positive yards and keep the chains in favorable down and distance and avoid negative plays.

“He’s going to get better and better the more reps he gets and the more carries, so we will get a great look at him.”

Kelley, meanwhile, has already missed two games this year — Week 3 against the Oakland Raiders with a rib injury, and Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers with an ankle injury.

An undrafted free agent in 2016, Kelley worked his way from the bottom of the roster to take over as starter midway through last year. He finished with 704 yards and six touchdowns in 2016.

But this year, Kelley has just 194 yards on 62 carries — a 3.1 YPC average — and three touchdowns. Injuries have limited Kelley and he hasn’t be able to find the same consistency as last year.

Compton, on the other hand, was injured just a week after having his best game of the season. Against the Seattle Seahawks, Compton recorded an interception and had nine tackles.

Compton’s injury is another blow to the Redskins defense, who’ve lost Mason Foster (shoulder) and Jonathan Allen (Lisfranc sprain) with long-term injuries. Defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis and safety Montae Nicholson are banged up, as well, missing Sunday’s game.

Redskins defensive end Anthony Lanier also suffered an MCL sprain against Minnesota, Gruden said.

Safety DeAngelo Hall, who hurt his knee against the Vikings, has a bone bruise and is considered day-to-day.

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

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