LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – Prior to being hired as Redskins head coach, Jay Gruden served as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2011 to 2013. Gruden’s final year in Cincy, 5′ 9″ running back Giovani Bernard accounted for 1,209 total yards (695 rushing, 514 receiving) and scored eight touchdowns.
“I knew what type of impact [Bernard] had on third downs and pass protection and getting open on linebackers – especially in the red zone, also,” Gruden explained to reporters during training camp. “I needed that role here, and Chris Thompson fit the bill.”
Tuesday, Thompson, a 5′ 8″ running back drafted by Washington in 2013, received a contract extension from the team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post reports it’s a two year extension, keeping Thompson under contract through 2019.
“He’s a very valuable commodity to our football team, both in pass protection and getting out on the routes,” head coach Jay Gruden said last week about Thompson. “I mean, the thought of him not being around scares the heck out of me. So he’s improved every part of his game, and a lot of these young players, they do that. You either get better or worse, and he’s just one of those guys that continues to work and he’s gotten better at everything.”
Last season, Thompson talied a career-high 49 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 68 times for 356 yards and three touchdowns. For his career, he has 584 rushing yards and 616 receiving yards – increasing his total in each of his four NFL seasons.
Originally selected by Washington in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Thompson was waived by the Redskins in 2014 before being signed to the practice squad the following day. He first joined the active roster in December 2014.