Veteran running back Tim Hightower started the Redskins’ first four games and was announced as the starter Sunday at FedEx Field. But when Washington’s offense took the field, Ryan Torain – fresh off a 135-yard performance against St. Louis – was the running back, and Hightower didn’t play a snap.
Coach Mike Shanahan said after the game that he elected to rest Hightower, who has been battling a sore shoulder.
“As I told Tim before the game, if I had to have him, if somebody went down, he was going to play, but that was the only situation he would play,” Shanahan said. “I thought he was a little banged up. Still want to get him healthy, want him to be able to play at 100 percent.”
With Hightower out, rookie Roy Helu Jr. served as the third-down back. But the Redskins never got their running game going. Torain managed just 22 yards on 10 carries, with no run longer than six yards. Helu carried twice for six yards. Quarterback John Beck managed the Redskins’ longest run of the day – 12 yards – and scored their only touchdown on a 2-yard quarterback draw play.
The Redskins total output on the ground: 42 yards, by far their lowest total of the season.