Washington Redskins rookie running back Evan Royster has yet to receive a promotion from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, but the Penn State product said he will continue to prepare as if the nod is coming any moment now.
“I’ve been preparing all year like I’m going to play. That’s what being in this position kind of holds,” Royster, whom Washington drafted in the sixth round, said Wednesday. “You’ve got to be prepared, even if it’s a long shot. I’m not trying to change anything, change my mindset. I’ve just got to be prepared.”
With Tim Hightower (torn ACL) now on the injured reserve list, the Redskins have only two healthy running backs on their roster. Third-year pro Ryan Torain is likely to take over as the starter, and rookie Roy Helu probably will serve as the change-of-pace/third-down back. If one of those two was hurt during a game, fullback Darrel Young – who has five carries for 26 yards in his career – could fill in as the second running back.
The Redskins added running back Tristan Davis to the practice squad Wednesday, giving Royster competition.
Asked if he thought it was possible for him to receive a promotion this week, Royster said, “Honestly, I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just waiting to see and just preparing like I’m supposed to.”
Royster, who played at Westfield High, appeared in four preseason games, recording 110 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. He also had two catches for 18 yards. He believes that although he hasn’t played in any games, he has improved significantly since the preseason.
“When you’re running against the first-team defense every day, you’re going to get better,” Royster said. “You’re not just out there dogging it, you’re going to adjust to the speed of the game a little bit more and I think that’s where I’ve improved. I’ve been able to adjust to the speed, and slow things down for myself.”