Former FSU star Chris Thompson navigating new team, fatherhood amid pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of the newest signees for the Jaguars is coming home.

Running back Chris Thompson has played his entire seven-year professional career with Washington, but now, the former Florida State Seminoles star is excited to be coming back to the Sunshine State.

It has been a year of change for Thompson, who is with a new team, living in a new city, and with a new daughter at home. And all of this as the global pandemic has changed everything about the NFL’s offseason.

“You know, being the new guy in the locker room, this is a super-important time right now to be able to get to know those guys,” Thompson said. “This is super-tough right now because of everything we got to do, to video calls for the meetings that we’re having with the running backs for an hour and a half, two hours. It’s, it’s not the same when you’re not actually there with those guys.”

Thompson, who starred in high school in Madison County has had to navigate the offseason, fatherhood and COVID-19 restriction all at the same time.

“I was getting phone calls from Jacksonville as soon as we opened up, but they wanted to know, of course, if I was healthy,” Thompson said. “So, just slow and just kind of being at home fielding phone calls as opposed to traveling.”

Thompson does have one advantage — he spent the last six seasons playing in Jay Gruden’s offense in Washington. Gruden is now the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars and Thompson knows what Gruden wants his offense to look like.

“He wants to put guys all over the place so it’s not just knowing what you’ve got to do, but what the guys around you are doing as well,” Thompson said. “It helps give him even more flexibility to do some things and open up that offense. I feel like for him, the more playmakers, the better. He’s going to spread the ball around. There’s not gonna be one guy that will be the full focus of the offense.”

Thompson figures to be a pass catcher more than anything for the Jaguars. He admits that Leonard Fournette doesn’t get tired too often. As for Thompson, he’s not getting much sleep right now thanks to his 4-month-old daughter at home.

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