If last season’s strong finish provided running back Evan Royster with anything, it was a sense of purpose. After his rookie season was derailed in September by a demotion to the practice squad, Royster said he felt some uncertainty about the future of his career.
“There was definitely a time when I was a little bit down,” Royster said after Thursday’s organized team activities at Redskins Park. “But after I got by that, I just wanted to get better and I wanted to prove that I could play at this level.”
Royster was able to prove that as he worked his way into the Redskins’ starting lineup and finished the season with a pair of consecutive 100-yard games.
He gashed Minnesota for 132 yards in Week 16 and followed it with 113 yards against Philadelphia in Week 17. His 132 yards was the team’s second highest rushing total last season, behind Ryan Torain’s 135 in Week Four.
“Hopefully it carries completely into this year. Hopefully, I can keep that going,” Royster said. “I just want to build on last year, build on my knowledge of the offense.”
The Redskins will begin mini-camp on Tuesday at Redskins Park. It will be another chance for Royster to emerge from the team’s crowded backfield. Along with Royster, the Redskins will look at running backs Roy Helu, Tim Hightower and rookie Alfred Morris. The 23-year-old Morris rushed for 1,186 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior at Florida Atlantic.
“There’s always competition, every year there’s going to be competion,” said Royster. “That’s something I have to get used to and it’s something that will make me better. It’ll make me work harder.”
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