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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 08/24/2012

With Helu, Royster out, rookie Morris in line for more playing time in Redskins’ third preseason game

Shortly after Redskins practice concluded Thursday, there was good news for rookie Alfred Morris and bad news for Evan Royster. But neither of them was the first to hear it.

While Washington Coach Mike Shanahan addressed reporters outside the team’s facility at Redskins Park, Morris was inside the team’s locker room stating that he wasn’t sure whether he’d get much, if any, playing time on offense Saturday when the Redskins host Indianapolis in their third preseason game.


Evan Royster picks up yardage against the Bills in the Redskins’ preseason opener. (John McDonnell - The Washington Post)
“I really don’t know the lineup or how much I’m going to play this game,” said Morris, a sixth round selection in this year’s NFL Draft. “Whether I get in on the offense or not, I’ve still got special teams.”

Morris later was informed Shanahan had said veteran running back Tim Hightower (knee) would play — but not start — against Indianapolis, and that neither Roy Helu Jr. or Royster would play at all. That would make Morris a likely candidate to start his second straight preseason game and get a decent number of offensive snaps.

“Every chance you get, every opportunity you get is a good thing,” said Morris, who tallied 34 yards on 10 carries at Chicago last Saturday. “They’re definitely giving me chances to make the 53 [-man roster], and that’s ultimately the goal. Get your foot in the door and just start from there.

“Every opportunity they give me, I’m happy to get, especially being a rookie. Because usually rookies don’t get playing time so early. I’m doing my best to make the most of it.”

Helu, the team’s leading rusher last season, has not practiced in two weeks due to tendonitis in both of his Achilles’ tendons.

Royster is battling a right knee injury that prevented him from practicing Wednesday or Thursday. Even still, Royster believed he was in line to play Saturday against Indianapolis.

“I just want to get out there and have a good showing,” Royster said while Shanahan simultaneously spoke with reporters. “I want to play well, just to show them that I deserve to be on this team. Because right now the running back position is pretty crowded. If I can go out there and have a good showing, I’d like to secure my spot on this team.”

Even after being informed of Shanahan’s statement that he would sit out Saturday’s game, Royster insisted it remained possible he could take the field. He said he was just experiencing some irritation in his knee and that the joint felt “80 percent better” Thursday than it had Wednesday.

When asked whether he thought he would be ready to participate in Washington’s final preseason game Aug. 29, Royster said: “Yeah, I think I’ll be ready. I think I might be ready by Saturday. But we’ll see.”

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 08/24/2012

Tags:  Washington Redskins, Alfred Morris, Mike Shanahan, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Tim Hightower

 
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