Running back Bryce Love has been placed on Injured Reserve, the Washington Football Team announced Friday. Love, who has been working toward a comeback since tearing his ACL in 2018, has experienced some swelling in his knee, according to head coach Ron Rivera, and will miss the next three to four weeks.
"It's probably from overuse," Rivera said during his press conference. "He's got some issues with [his knee], so we decided to IR him and put him down so he can rest it and get that swelling down."
Love has yet to make his NFL debut after being taken in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft, but he has been optimistic about returning to the field and garnered praise for his effort during training camp. He was regularly featured in the rotation at running back, and there were moments where he showed the quickness that made him a Heisman finalist at Stanford.
"I've seen some positive things. I really have," Rivera said Aug. 20. "The biggest thing is him getting back and getting his confidence back in what he's done. It's been kind of nice to watch him run and get bounced around and for him to absorb it. He's a great young man.
"He's a guy that as he continues to grow, I believe he has a chance to get in a position to grow and help us."
Love, who missed his entire rookie season recovering from his knee injury, said it was a tough experience for him, but he was excited about the opportunities that were in front of him. He liked everything about working in offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system and felt like he was able to utilize his entire skillset, especially since his former teammate, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, had so much success working with Turner.
"Seeing [Carolina RB] Christian [McCaffrey] do those things, it kind of puts you at ease because I know what system he's coming from, and I came from the same one. So just being able to be versatile," Love said. "That was one of the things I really focused on. Being able to run routes, catch out the backfield, just gaining confidence and doing all of those things is what I wanted to focus on."
Love survived roster cuts at the end of training camp, but he was inactive in the first three games of the season. Still, running backs coach Randy Jordan said Love was progressing well in practice and was focusing on taking "quality reps."
"The thing that I love about him is he's humble and hard working," Jordan said Sept. 18. "If you're humble and hardworking and you continue to improve daily, it's a fact that he's a guy that's going to eventually help us down the line."
As the weeks went on, though, Love's knee experienced some swelling, and the team made the decision to let him get healthy. Fortunately, Rivera sounded confident that Love would not be out for the rest of the season.
The league has new rules regarding Injured Reserve for the 2020 season. Players are allowed to return to practice after three weeks rather than the usual six weeks. Love is eligible to return in Week 8.