WASHINGTON — Video games are as close as most people will get to playing professional football.
But for someone like Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson, who has experienced the real deal at its highest level, being relegated to the virtual version wasn’t as much fun as he imagined.
Thompson graduated from being an unheralded role player to the catalyst for the Redskins offense in 2017. At the time of his leg injury, he led the team in both rushing and receiving yards, illustrating how valuable he was to a unit short on bona fide playmakers.
After fracturing his fibula, he was sentenced to six weeks of gaming.
“It’s been a little boring because I can’t do much right now but play video games,” he said immediately following the season. “Which I thought I would really enjoy but it sucks now after doing it for a month and a half.
“But the body is feeling good. It’s a slow process, no need to rush or forced anything.”
The good news for Thompson, the Redskins, and fans who enjoyed his development this season, is that he anticipates being ready for training camp in August. Already six weeks into a four-to-six month recovery time, Thompson could be ready for offseason workouts as well.
That’s great for an offense that dropped from third in the NFL for total offense in 2016 (403.4 yards per game) to 16th in 2017 (324.9 yards per game). But for Thompson, it was more than just the stat sheet.
“It was rough, not so much the way I was playing, or the numbers, it was more just the impact that I knew I had on my teammates, this offense, everything that I knew I had,” Thompson told the media about his absence. “That’s the tough part of being injured, having to miss out–having to sit home and see it all unfold.”
Next season, Thompson should be front and center without any need for video games.