Running back Evan Royster can’t escape shop talk when he goes home each day. He lives with a couple of high school buddies, who happen to be huge Redskins fans. They all attended Westfield High in Chantilly together.
“One of them is a big John Beck fan. He’s like, ‘When’s John Beck going to play? When’s he going to get a shot?’” Royster said with a laugh. “I just shake my head and turn around. I try not to answer many questions.”
But his roommates were as excited as anyone when Royster was added to the 53-man roster a week ago. He made his NFL debut in last Sunday’s win at Seattle and expects to have plenty of supporters on hand for this weekend’s home game against the New York Jets.
“The moment I got activated, they were calling me, asking me questions. That’s just how it is when you play for the hometown team,” Royster said. “A lot of people are excited when you get the shot.”
Because Roy Helu had a career day in Seattle, Royster’s opportunities were limited last weekend. Royster entered the game early in the second quarter. On first-and-10 from the Seattle 20-yard line, the Redskins were lined up in a shotgun formation and quarterback Rex Grossman handed off to Royster. The rookie out of Penn State ran toward the right tackle and gained three yards.
“It was all adrenaline once I got in the game,” he said. “I kind of got broken in [and] the first two plays were pass plays. ...With the carry, all the butterflies were gone. I was just excited. I wanted to make a big play.”
Ryan Torain did not get on the field at all in Seattle, and Royster’s run was the only one all day by a back not named Helu. Royster said coaches haven’t told him what his exact role might be going forward, though they’ve encouraged him to be more aggressive in pass protection.
“I think we’re just going to feel it out,” Royster said. “With Roy running so well, you can’t take him out of the game when he’s running like that. If there’s a day when he’s not firing on all cylinders, hopefully I’ll get my shot.”