Evan Royster eager to help Redskins after long wait


(Jonathan Newton/WASHINGTON POST)

After 11 weeks on the team’s practice squad and ineligible to play in games, he finally received the promotion to the 53-man roster on Tuesday, the same day that the Redskins waived Tashard Choice.

Drafted in the sixth round out of Penn State, the former Westfield High School standout, carried the ball 26 times for 110 yards and a touchdown and fumbled once during the preseason. He didn’t make the final roster cut at the end of the preseason, but was signed to the practice squad, where he has since worked on improving as a running back and gaining a better understanding of the Redskins’ offensive system.

Royster thought he possibly could have gotten the call up to the 53-man roster when Washington placed Tim Hightower on injured reserve on Oct. 23. But Redskins instead signed Choice a week later, and Royster’s wait continued.

“I got a little bit discouraged a couple weeks ago, but I’ve got a lot of support from my family, my girlfriend and they keep me grounded,” Royster said.

He came to Redskins Park on Tuesday to get his usual workout in, and just before he left, coaches informed him of his promotion.

“I was in complete shock. I was just excited. I was giddy all day. I couldn’t stop smiling,” said the 6-foot-1, 213-pound Royster, who is expected to compete with Roy Helu and Ryan Torain for playing time. “I’ve been practicing hard all year, and I’ve been waiting for my shot, and now that it’s here, I’m just ready to make the most of it. … I think I fit our system well. The one-cut, down-hill running is what I am and what I’ve always done well. The zone-blocking scheme is what I’ve done well for 10 years now.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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