When you consider the complete list of players who’ve donned #38 for the burgundy and gold, a few names seem to jump to the forefront. One is of a current player who, since he entered the NFL last season, has impressed coaches and has the potential to become a great #38: Kendall Fuller.
The greatest #38, however, has to be the one who helped the Redskins on their path to their 1987 Super Bowl win. That player is George Rogers.
The Heisman Trophy winner was selected with the first overall pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1981 NFL Draft. In his first four years, all with the Saints, he earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors (1981), was selected to the Pro Bowl twice (1981, 1982), and led the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing yards/game (1981).
It wasn’t until Rogers headed to D.C. that he would earn what he calls “the highlight of [his] football career.” In 1986, Rogers racked up accomplishments on the field as the Redskins marched toward the Super Bowl. He led the league in rushing touchdowns, touchdowns, and rushing/receiving touchdowns (18), but the team was blanked by the New York Giants in the NFC Conference Championship game.
He and the Redskins came back in 1987 to fulfill a mission they came so close to accomplishing the previous season: winning the Super Bowl. Rogers, who was, at that point, banged up by injuries, contributed heavily in the regular season, though Coach Gibbs chose to lean on rookie Timmy Smith in the big game. When Rogers reflects on his team dominating the Denver Broncos that day, he knows Gibbs did what was best for the team. "Even though I didn't play much in the game, I helped get us there,” he explained in an interview with Mark Inabinett.
Rogers went on to retire, at age 29, after earning his championship hardware that game, doing what players sometimes lack the courage to do: accepting the toll the game had taken on his body and walking away from the game.
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Who do you think is the best Redskin to ever wear #38?
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