As he continues to rehab his broken leg, running back Chris Thompson reflected on his breakout season and his optimism for recovery during a radio segment on The Team 980.
It's been around three months since he broke his leg, but running back Chris Thompson is already confident he'll be able to return to his former self.
"The doctor's kind of gave me some good news saying with this injury it was better to break it because it'll come back stronger," he said on The Team 980 this week. "So it's just more of me being patient with it, with the rehab, and just kind of being smart. I'm known to want to progress as fast as I can so I think if I just stay patient with the process and everything I should be back to what I was before."
This is positive news after Thompson broke out in his fifth year with the Redskins. In 10 games, he rushed for 294 yards and two touchdowns and became a reliable passing option out of the backfield, grabbing 39 receptions for 510 yards and four touchdowns.
His shortened season – Thompson was placed on Injured Reserve after breaking his leg against the Saints in November – handicapped the offense for the rest of the way. But the freak injury, one Thompson received without the football in his hands, isn't an indictment of Thompson's physical attributes.
"For me having such a good year, I felt like this was probably the best year I've had in my whole football career, including high school and college," Thompson said. "For it to happen the way it did, it was more so a freak injury and then now it's like, everybody on Twitter and everything are just saying, 'Oh he's so fragile' and I'm like, did you really look at what happened? It had nothing to do with me running the ball or getting hit or anything. It was a guy, rolled up on me and I had my back turned. I really didn't see him, but it's just frustrating.
"To finally be able to have a very prominent role on this offense and to be able to execute like all the coaches knew that I could, and for it to just end halfway through the season was pretty upsetting for me," Thompson added.
Thompson's ascent to a reliable third down and pass-catching running back option has been well-documented. It's taken time for him to believe in himself as an integral part of the team, but 2017 affirmed his mindset was the key to unlocking his full ability.
"That was the biggest thing for me was confidence," Thompson said. "I've battled with that my entire career here and this season was like the first year that I really felt like myself and I had confidence in myself and I was able to play the part. There is not much else to say other than confidence. I mean I've been in the offense for a few years so I was used to the game plan but it was more so me feeling like I was the man and executing that way."
From where did the confidence initially stem?
"It was actually in practice," Thompson said.
"It was during training camp, really," he said. "When we were kind of doing a lot of our one-on-one drills and I kind of got to see where my route running had progressed once we got into training camp and doing the one-on-one drills and it was just something about every single practice during training camp, during O.T.A's that just made me feel good and just kind of gave me that confidence.
"Then when we went into preseason, I didn't have a whole lot of action but the things I was able to do, and when Coach Gruden would call screens for me, he would give me a choice route," Thompson added. "I had one in Green Bay where I broke a guy off real nice and was wide open, probably would have been a 70-yard touchdown, but it was things like that where I was like, okay I have what I know is inside of me and its finally coming out. It started in practice and just kind of went through preseason then when regular season came after that Eagles game when I had that touchdown, that was pretty much all I needed, and in the NFL confidence is one of the biggest things and just to have that one touchdown catch it kind of propelled me and just kept me going."