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Confident He'll Play Sunday, Robert Kelley Ready For Biggest Game Of His Rookie Season


Redskins starting running back Robert Kelley suffered a knee injury in Washington's victory over the Bears, but feels he'll be good to go for Week 17.

While Washington Redskins running back Robert Kelley was limited during Wednesday's practice session with a knee injury, the rookie is confident he'll be able to play during Sunday afternoon's game against the New York Giants.

Kelley did "some of the walkthrough stuff" according to Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and participated in individual drills. How he's feeling during Friday's practice session will be the true test of how much he'll be able to do on Sunday, but Kelley doesn't want to miss Washington's biggest game of the season.

"I've never played in a playoff game, but we're approaching it like one," Kelley said. "Right now everything is just everywhere. …It's a challenge, plus the Giants are a pretty good team. We have to go out there with our best focus all year, especially the rookies. You take it as it comes, not try to make a big deal out of it."

Kelley's impact on the Redskins has been undeniable since taking over as the starting running back in Week 8.

Over the last eight weeks of NFL action, Kelley is ninth in the NFL in rushing yards (568) and tied for eighth in rushing touchdowns (six). The Tulane product is also 11th in yards per attempt during that span (4.09) among running backs with at least 100 carries.

And in Washington's four victories since Kelley earned a spot in the starting lineup, the Redskins have collected more rush attempts (116) than pass attempts (113).

"I think we're getting into a rhythm," Kelley said. "It felt good to get the running game going last game, Kirk [Cousins] was able to produce in the run game too. … Every time we run the ball well, our chances of winning go up."

This week, Washington faces a much improved run defense, as the Giants allow the second fewest yards per rush attempt in the NFL this season at 3.6. New York has also only allowed two running backs to topple the 100-yard mark this year: Pittsburgh Steelers' Le'Veon Bell and Dallas Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliot.

"It's a tough challenge, especially when you got Olivier Vernon and [Jonathan] Casillas in the middle," Kelley said. "Landon Collins is playing his best ball right now. We just got to bring our A-game because they're going to bring theirs. Be ready to play."

If Kelley – who currently has six rushing touchdowns on the season – is able to score two touchdowns against the Giants, he'll tie Skip Hicks (eight in 1998) for the second most rushing touchdowns by a rookie in franchise history.

Whether that comes against New York's top defensive players or not, Kelley will be ready to help the Redskins' late season playoff push.

"I don't really know what they'll do," Kelley said. :All we can do is worry about what we can do, and that's to have everyone ready to go out and play Sunday."

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