Royster played with sore ribs and had to be rehydrated intravenously during the game, at one point visiting the locker room midway through the third quarter. Still, he finished with 113 yards on 20 carries. He was also the Redskins’ leading receiver with 52 yards on five catches.
“He was tough enough to go back and forth and play most of the game during the second half,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said, “but he was hurting.”
Sunday’s season finale marked the fifth time in the final six games that a Washington running back was able to break the 100-yard barrier.
With Roy Helu still reeling from toe and knee injuries, Royster got the second start of his young career. Helu also played hurt Sunday. Though he had only five yards on four carries, Helu also turned in the Redskins’ lone touchdown, a 47-yard catch that required the rookie out of Nebraska to weave his way around several defenders. The reception was the longest by a rookie running back in team history.
But Royster again was the team’s featured back, one week after his 132-yard performance against Minnesota.
“You never like to end with a loss,” he said, “but I was happy that I got 100 yards rushing.”