The Redskins' running back played in just three games with Washington, but maximized his time on the field to close out the regular season.
The Redskins running backs unit suffered another unexpected blow on Sunday afternoon, and like the entire season it managed to effectively work through it.
On just his second carry in the Redskins' 18-10 season-ending loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium, Samaje Perine injured his ankle, forcing Kapri Bibbs to replace him. The team's lead running back never returned to the game, but Bibbs more than made up for his absence, finishing the year on a relative high note even as the team struggled find the end zone.
"I've always prided myself on preparing and getting ready for the game," Bibbs said. "I'm really diligent on the way I approach the game week in and week out, first down, second down, third down, I make sure I'm always ready for whatever situation I'm in. I'm always dependable. I'm thankful for these coaches, that's what they're looking for, someone that they can depend on. I want to be a guy that's reliable, first, after that, let all the skill sets come into play."
In Bibbs's three games with the Redskins, he's proven that reliability joining the team at moment's notice with little time to adjust to the offensive game plan and scheme. He's leaned on coaches and trusted his abilities and found success in the process. In other words, he's taken advantage of a rare opportunity that came so late in the season.
Against the Giants in well-below freezing temperatures, Bibbs compiled 100 all-purpose yards, rushing for 47 yards and catching eight passes for 53 yards. While classified as a third-down running back that would initially only help with catching passes out of the backfield, Bibbs proved Sunday he's capable of taking the brunt of carries, too.
"It felt good," Bibbs said. "After the game, I was sore, I was thinking back to when I was in college and high school taking 30 carries or 20 carries. It feels good, you know what I mean? The soreness feels good, that means you're working, it means you're trying to help your team. That's what I do. I just try to go up and put my body on the line and do everything I could to just try and help my team get a win."
Check out images from the Washington Redskins in their 2017 Week 16 matchup against the New York Giants Dec. 31, 2017, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Bibbs started to find a rhythm in the second half. Before kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 47-yard field goal, Bibbs helped set up the opportunity late in the third quarter, taking three carries for 19 yards and catching another pass for 13 yards on a drive starting close to Giants territory.
In total, Bibbs ran the ball 12 times and provided an outlet for quarterback Kirk Cousins in the backfield, using his speed to maneuver around linemen on called screens.
"I think with any running back, you start getting your hands on the ball a lot, then you start getting more comfortable," Bibbs said. "You get real fearless, and I think that starts with me in the beginning. If anything is there, I'm going to get it, because I feel like I'm fearless, especially when I've got these guys up there blocking in front of me the way they do, I can definitely make some runs happen."
The Redskins have seen nine running backs make the active roster this year and will have plenty of choices as to who they want to bring back this offseason. For the limited amount of time he's spent in the organization, Bibbs will enter January proud of what he's accomplished (in three games he collected 79 rushing yards, 128 receiving yards and a touchdown) and impressed with what the Redskins will be able to achieve if all of their parts remain healthy next season.
"To tell you the truth, this team might be, easily, the top three most talented teams in the league," Bibbs said. "You look at the quarterback, running back, wide receivers, we've got depth, we've got everything. On the offensive line, injuries plagued this team this year. From the outside looking in, I was on the streets for 10 weeks. I looked at this team when I was on the street and I was like this team is scary. I'd seen all the games that they did lose, and by three points here, two points here, I knew this team was amazing before I even stepped foot on there. I just want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of building something great. That's what I've done at high school and college. I just can't wait to be a part of this as we build this up to a Super Bowl next year."