While Chris Thompson continues to carve his own role on the Redskins' offense entering his fourth season, he's also the team's longest tenured running back, something he isn't taking lightly.
Chris Thompson is still a young guy at 25 years old, but 2013 fifth-round pick is currently the Washington Redskins' oldest and longest tenured running back.
Going into just his fourth NFL season, Thompson returns along with second-year running back Matt Jones, 2015 practice squad member Mack Brown and rookies Robert Kelley, Keith Marshall, Kelsey Young and Joe Kerridge.
"It's actually cool, because I am being tested every day with the guys asking me a lot of questions," Thompson said. "I love it, I love it. I am 25, but I am the old guy, so I really have to be that role model for those guys. I will make mistakes, but I just want to show those young guys how I handle adversity. It'll be good for me to be able to help those guys."
During his first three seasons in the NFL, Thompson heeded the advice of Alfred Morris and Darrel Young as he worked his way up from being on the practice squad to a consistent contributor come game days.
This offseason, though, Washington elected not to re-sign either veteran, with Morris leaving for the Dallas Cowboys while Young is still looking for a new home.
Thompson admitted it's been unusual to come to Redskins Park and not see either one of his former teammates around, but they left their marks on him.
"Everything I know I learned from Alf and DY," Thompson said. "On and off the field they really helped me be the man and player I am today. It was rough going to the first meeting without those guys, but that's what the business is. It been different but for me and Matt, Alf and DY have taught us so much that we are able to be those guys to these young guys, so it was a tough transition to have those guys not being in the room but we'll never forget them."
Thompson is expected to be the Redskins' No. 2 back this season behind Jones, but the Florida State product won't be back on the field until training camp after offseason shoulder surgery to repair an injury that he suffered late last season.
Over the mental aftereffects that come with going through a procedure, Thompson remains on the road to recovery from a physical standpoint.
He received clearance a few weeks ago to start weight lifting again and tried to give it everything he had right off the bat.
"I paid for it the next two weeks," Thompson said. "But everything has calmed down now. I've had no issues, so I should be ready."
When he does return fully healthy, Thompson – who said pass catching "comes naturally" to him -- will be yet another threat in an already loaded aerial attack.
In 13 games, Thompson collected 35 receptions for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
"It also helps Kirk [Cousins] to have another outlet in certain situations," Thompson said. "Once I get back, I am going to try and be more consistent, be a better route runner than I was last year, and I think it can help out our offense."