The Redskins will likely only activate three running backs on Sunday, and based mostly on health, either Chris Thompson or Matt Jones will not play.
The Washington Redskins simply want their three healthiest running backs playing in Sunday's Wild Card Round matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
That means right now, the team would go with Alfred Morris, Pierre Thomas and Chris Thompson, with Matt Jones not seeing action for a third straight game as he continues to be slowed by a hip injury.
But that could still change as Gruden said a decision will not come until later this week, likely on Friday or Saturday.
"Well, special teams will factor into it a little bit, but really we want to play the three healthy backs and Jones is limited right now," Gruden said this week. "Unless he shows us some major improvement [Thursday] and Friday he's going to be the odd man out."
If Jones – who has been limited in both practice sessions this week – is healthy enough to go, that may mean Thompson will be in street clothes on the sideline come opening kickoff.
Thompson is currently battling a toe injury, but the third-year Florida State product is insistent on playing through the pain.
"I've been finding a way to play through a lot of stuff this year," Thompson said. "Just to show the coaches, show my team, I'll do whatever I can each and every week, and I'll sacrifice until I can't walk no more. That's just who I am. But it's been one of those things where I've been trying to show my teammates, show my coaches, the organization, I'm going to be healthy, I can play through hurt. Being hurt and injured is two totally different things."
Thompson returned to the lineup two weeks ago in the Redskins' 38-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles after dealing with a torn labrum.
He hauled in a touchdown reception against Philadelphia before carrying the ball seven times for 19 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale.
Thompson said it "means everything to me" to be able to play in the playoffs if healthy enough.
"This is my first time having a chance to play in the playoffs in these three years," Thompson said. "So it's big to me, but at the same time I don't want to go out there and hurt the team. We have Pierre here, he can do all the things a third-down back is supposed to do. Like I've said, I just have to keep getting better."
Jones, meanwhile, isn't in as quite as good of condition as Thompson. During Wednesday's open media portion of practice, the rookie wasn't able to go full speed.
The University of Florida product admitted he probably wouldn't have been able to play Thursday night had the game fallen on that day.
"I just go day by day, man," Jones said. "It is what it is. I'm just battling with my body right now just care of it. However it responds, it responds. I'm not concerned what position I am, I'm just trying to get my body right."
Jones was, at times, the Redskins' most productive running back this season, as the rookie recorded a 100-yard rushing performance against the St. Louis Rams Week 2 and 131 receiving yards against the New Orleans Saints Week 10.
"Oh, it definitely means a lot," Jones said of potentially playing. "I mean, my first playoff game to be out there with the team and feel the atmosphere with them boys, but if not, I'm just going to be supportive. If I'm not going to be out there, I know they're going to handle their business."