Shanahan still refusing to name RB starter, but signs point to Alfred Morris

September 7, 2012

Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan declined to say Friday which of his tailbacks will start Sunday’s season opener at New Orleans.

“Not yet,” Shanahan said. “Keep them guessing.”

There are signs that rookie Alfred Morris is likely to get the starting nod over second-year pros Evan Royster and Roy Helu.


Alfred Morris carries the ball during the preseason. (Nick Wass/The Associated Press)

Several people with knowledge of the situation said they believe Morris is the probable starter but they didn’t know if a final decision had been made.

Morris, a sixth-round draft choice in April from Florida Atlantic, was a standout during the preseason while Royster and Helu were slowed at times by injuries. But Royster and Helu had some success last season and give the Redskins more experience at the position.

It appears that DeJon Gomes is in line to start at the safety spot alongside Madieu Williams. Gomes would replace Brandon Meriweather, who is to be sidelined for two to four weeks after re-injuring his left knee in Monday’s practice. Meriweather originally hurt the knee in the second preseason game but was back to practicing fully before landing awkwardly Monday.

Shanahan said left guard Kory Lichtensteiger was “fine” Friday and “ready to go” for the opener. Lichtensteiger missed the entire preseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in the opening days of training camp.

The Redskins have left open the possibility of Lichtensteiger splitting time Sunday with backup Maurice Hurt if Lichtensteiger isn’t ready to play an entire game.

“Everything is fine,” Lichtensteiger said after Friday’s practice.

 

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · September 7, 2012