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Kapri Bibbs coming into his own as role evolves

November 2, 2018 GMT

At Colorado State, Kapri Bibbs was known primarily as a runner so much so that he’s one of only three collegiate running backs to have scored 30 or more rushing touchdowns in a season. That list, by the way, includes Barry Sanders.

But with the Redskins, Bibbs has been asked to do more than run the ball. In fact, his role has changed completely.

These days, Bibbs serves mostly as a pass-catching, third-down back. He’s embraced the adjustment, cherishing the opportunity to prove he’s multi-dimensional.

“I think (catching passes) shows my versatility because nobody even knew I could catch passes before,” Bibbs said.“Nobody knew I could run routes or that I was athletic as I am at route running. So I take this all as a great way to open people’s eyes so they can see that I’m not just a running back.”

Bibbs will use that skill set Sunday when the Redskins face the Atlanta Falcons. With Chris Thompson out with a rib injury, Bibbs will likely see more playing time than normal.

Now in his fifth year, after stints with the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, Bibbs is starting to come into his own.

This season, Bibbs has five catches for 49 yards and a touchdown and 10 rushing attempts for 36 yards

“Kapri has filled in nicely really,” coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s solid in pass protection and obviously receiving. When he’s asked to carry the ball he’s done a pretty good job. He’ll be the third option probably when it comes to carrying the ball behind obviously Adrian [Peterson] and Samaje [Perine].

“But third downs, he’s our best option for sure and that’s a very important down as you well know.”

Bibbs first joined the Redskins last season in November after the team had injuries at running back. At first, he was just a member of the practice squad. But less than a month later, he was promoted.

And when he was asked to assume a bigger role, he delivered. Bibbs had a touchdown in his season debut against the Arizona Cardinals and in Week 17 against the New York Giants, he had 100 yards from the line of scrimmage (47 rushing, 53 receiving).

This season, Bibbs has mostly played special teams, though he also serves as Thompson’s backup. Thompson has missed two games this season and is hurt again.

When he’s not on the field, Bibbs is absorbing everything he can from starter Adrian Peterson.

“One thing I do model after his (Peterson’s) game is his fearlessness,” Bibbs said. “The way he runs with the ball in his hands, it’s him versus the world. And I like that.”

In his own right, Bibbs has also had to be fearless.

Not only has Bibbs had to prove his game to coaches and management, but he’s even bold enough to jumpstart a rap career away from football. In 2016, he released the mixtape, “They Want Me Bad.

A native of Chicago, Bibbs is one of many rappers to come out of the Windy City. Asked how his rap ability to compares to his rap ability compares to his fellow Chicago artists such as Kanye West and Chance the Rapper, Bibbs showed the same fearlessness he runs with on Sundays.

“Honestly to tell you the truth, lyrically and all that I think I can body all of them if you ask me,” Bibbs said. “I think my lyrics and my delivery and where I come from you know I can go toe to toe with any one of them.”