Two days before the Washington Redskins’first preseason game, running back Roy Helu said he wasn’t quite sure how the team plans to split up carries among its tailbacks. And there were quite a few players who were wondering about the same thing.
Helu is part of a crowded backfield whose member are jockeying for the lone starting spot. He said being in the dark about carries doesn’t matter much, it’s simply the way it is.
Later in the day, coach Mike Shanahan announced that Helu and Evan Royster would split carries evenly, with Royster starting the game. The top back on the depth chart, Tim Hightower, will not play as he continues to recover from knee surgery.
“So far we’re competing to be the starter, pushing each other and not being complacent,” said Helu.
The Redskins travel to Buffalo for a Thursday night game against the Bills.
Last season, Helu rushed for 640 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie after being drafted in the fourth round. A versatile back, Helu hauled in 49 catches for 379 yards. He set a team single-game record for receptions when he recorded 14 catches against San Francisco.
Helu said Hightower continues to improve each week as he returns from last season’s ACL injury. Royster, also a rookie last season, averaged 122.5 yards per game in the season’s final two contests.
“We’re all trying to earn a spot,” said Helu. “We’re shooting for that guy that can tilt the rock 25 plus [times].”