The Redskins have acquired running back T.J. Duckett from the Atlanta Falcons as part of a three-team trade. As part of the deal, Washington sent a draft pick to the Denver Broncos and the Broncos sent wide receiver Ashley Lelie to the Falcons.
Duckett and Lelie passed physicals with their respective teams on Wednesday afternoon, finalizing the deal.
Duckett, 6-0 and 254 pounds, spent his first four NFL seasons in Atlanta after the Falcons selected him in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He has played in 54 games with 14 starts.
Duckett is a bruising, tough runner who has rushed for 2,175 yards (on 552 carries) and 31 touchdowns in his NFL career. He also has 29 receptions for 233 yards.
Last season, Duckett appeared in 14 games and recorded 280 rushing yards on 121 carries, with a team-high eight touchdowns. He helped the Falcons lead the NFL in rushing for the second straight season (159.1 yards per game).
His best NFL season was in 2003, when he had a career-high 11 rushing touchdowns and a career-high in yards with 779.
Duckett finished his college career at Michigan State with 621 carries for 3,379 yards (5.4 avg.) and 29 touchdowns.
The Redskins now have great depth at the running back position. The team would also have three of the top running backs from the 2002 NFL Draft.
Clinton Portis, selected 51st overall in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft, is currently sidelined after suffering a partially separated shoulder injury in the first preseason game. He is ahead of schedule, according to head coach Joe Gibbs, in returning from the injury.
Gibbs and Portis have targeted the season opener for his return to action.
Gibbs said on Tuesday that Portis's injury is not expected to linger once it is healed.
"Where this injury is, it is all about rehabbing and getting it back," Gibbs said.
In four NFL seasons, Portis has emerged as one of the NFL's elite running backs. He has rushed for 5,930 yards on 1,258 carries and has also caught 141 passes for 1,129 yards.
The pending acquisition of Duckett adds a bulldozing-style back to the Redskins' backfield. How Duckett's addition impacts the other running backs on the team remains to be seen.
Ladell Betts, selected 56th overall in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft, has served as the backup to Portis. He has also missed time this preseason due to a hamstring injury. In his career, Betts has rushed for 1,271 yards on 321 carries in his NFL career.
Rock Cartwright, a seventh-round draft pick in 2002, is also on the roster. He has mostly carved a niche for himself as a special teams leader.
Jesse Lumsden, a first-year running back out of Canada, has impressed in training camp but he has been slowed by a hamstring injury in recent weeks.