As a member of the Washington Redskins’ practice squad for the first 11 weeks of the season, rookie running back Evan Royster took part in all of the usual team activities during the week, but never could dress for games and couldn’t travel to road games.
There was one exception – the Redskins’ game against Buffalo in Toronto – where Royster received permission to travel, but he remained on the practice squad and could only watch in street clothes.
“It was tough standing on the sideline for the Buffalo game,” said Royster, whom Washington drafted in the sixth round out of Penn State. “Because you’re there and you want to get out there and play be able to help give your team an opportunity to win.”
Everything changed for Royster this past Tuesday when he finally received his promotion to the 53-man roster. On Friday, he enthusiastically gathered his things in the locker room in preparation for traveling with the team and facing a realistic opportunity of playing.
“The fact that I get to do that this week, I’m excited. I’m going into it knowing that I have a very good chance of playing in this game. I’m amped up for it, I’m excited and I can’t wait,” Royster said.
The Redskins still could opt to make Royster inactive for Sunday’s game, but given the struggles of the run game — where Ryan Torain in the last six games has mustered just 57 yards on 36 carries, and where the team often utilizes Roy Helu as a third-down back — Royster likes his chances.
“I finally get to live out my dream,” he said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was five years old. The fact that it’s finally going to happen, I’m kind of in awe, but I still understand that I’ve got to go out and get the job done.”