Antonio Gibson's shin is better yet still limiting him


One benefit of Antonio Gibson's bye week is that the running back was able to bond with his young daughter, and in doing so, he picked up on a new aid for when she begins crying.

"'Cocomelon', oh my God," Gibson told reporters Wednesday when asked to reveal his trick. "She hears that, she's looking like, 'Where is that?' It's addicting."

Aside from absorbing a new parenting ploy, Gibson also had the opportunity to do something else during Washington's time away from the field: rest his shin injury.

"The bye week did me justice," he said.

Gibson's lower-leg issue has plagued him for the majority of his second pro campaign and, because of the nature of the ailment, it's unlikely to fully heal until after the franchise's 2021 schedule wraps up. Even so, he does believe there's been improvement with it lately.

"Denver game was probably the best I felt," Gibson said about Washington's last outing just before their break. "Coming off the bye week, I feel like I'm getting back to where I want to be."

Getting back to where he wants but still not all the way back. That's an important distinction for Gibson, who continues to notice areas where not being 100% harms his production.

"Trying to put power into my run," he identified as one example of a limitation. "If I get stopped, trying to push forward and things like that."

Fortunately for Gibson and the Burgundy and Gold, JD McKissic is plenty adept in his own right and really thrives on third downs. McKissic's presence means that Gibson doesn't have to do everything at the position.

Jaret Patterson also saw his most extensive action in the Broncos contest and the rookie looked more than capable on his 11 rushing attempts. Further introducing him into the rotation could also take stress off of Gibson and his shoddy shin. 

At the same time, Gibson is definitely miffed by his subpar health. The tail end of his first year in the NFL was marred by a toe problem and now the bulk of his second go-round has been affected as well.

Yes, Gibson's still posting solid numbers in spite of being banged up, but the coaching staff often speaks about how he's capable of a lot more. Gibson agrees.

"Game day, you definitely get frustrated, because there are certain situations where you're like, 'Ah, I couldn't do this because of this,'" he said.

Perhaps 2022 will finally be the time when Gibson is unencumbered and unleashed to his full potential. For the next nine games, meanwhile, he'll simply have to find a way to get by.

And unfortunately for this particular obstacle, "Cocomelon" isn't going to help. 

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