Antonio Gibson seems to remain wholesome, get sooner after weight reduction

ASHBURN — Antonio Gibson says he misplaced weight this offseason to assist him higher face up to the grind of an NFL season. By means of two seasons, the Washington Commanders working again has handled a sequence of painful illnesses — turf toe as a rookie, a shin fracture final season — and so the 24-year-old scaled again his weight-reduction plan in an try to remain wholesome. 

His coach, nonetheless, thinks Gibson’s slim-down might have one other constructive impact. 

“Quickness,” Commanders coach Ron Rivera mentioned. “With him, it’s about quickness.” 

Gibson made strides final season, dashing for greater than 1,000 yards for the primary time since getting into the league in 2020 as a third-round select of Memphis. However the large receiver-turned-back appeared to be missing the identical kind of explosiveness that dazzled teammates the yr prior. 

Gibson’s common fell from 4.7 yards per carry to 4. His longest rush went for 27 yards, down from 40. And whereas Gibson did have a career-high 73-yard landing reception in Week 3 towards the Buffalo Payments, that spotlight was one in all simply six performs all season wherein he gained no less than 20 yards. He had seven of these as a rookie — regardless of showing in two fewer video games, taking part in practically 200 fewer snaps and receiving 94 fewer touches. 

A participant’s effectivity can lower with an elevated workload, however Gibson nonetheless felt like he wanted to get in higher form.

“The explosiveness, after all, if you’re lighter, you might be extra tone match,” Gibson mentioned. “You get out and in of cuts faster, you’ll be able to go to distance.”

Mockingly, after shedding pounds in an try to remain wholesome, Gibson opened coaching camp with a hamstring damage. The working again bought knicked up throughout an offseason exercise in June — he blamed the damage on an absence of hydration — and so the Commanders’ coaching workers needed to step by step work Gibson again within the fold.

He returned to observe Saturday and took part when the Commanders placed on pads Tuesday. In Monday’s session, the working again ran a swift route within the crimson zone to beat cornerback Kendall Fuller for the landing. 

After the play, Fuller protested that he would have made the deal with close to the aim line in an actual recreation. However which may have been wishful pondering. Gibson appeared to have a step forward.

“He seemed fairly spry,” Rivera mentioned. 

On paper, Gibson’s weight reduction is probably not dramatic. The Commanders record him at 221 kilos for camp, and Gibson has mentioned that he weighed 236 at the beginning of final season. Nonetheless, 15 kilos for an expert athlete could be telling. And Gibson, nowadays, is noticeably slimmer. His physique composition has modified. 

Gibson hopes a more healthy construct will permit him to give attention to including to his recreation fairly than worrying about conditioning.  

Considered one of his objectives this yr is to turn out to be extra constant working vertically fairly than horizontally to take higher benefit of the holes created by the staff’s offensive line.

“The one factor these guys have to grasp is as you get aged on this league, your physique modifications and sure calls for come,” Rivera mentioned. “I believe now, as he’s getting older, that is his third yr within the NFL. You need him to grasp how vital it’s to be in form and keep in form.”


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