Limited primarily to special teams in the first two games of the season, wide receiver Brandon Banks had a significant role in the Redskins’ second drive of the third quarter Sunday.
Banks lined up in the slot but repeatedly ran in motion and ended up in the backfield. At first, he ran a fake option route while Robert Griffin III handed off to Alfred Morris for a 13-yard run. On the next play, Griffin pitched to Banks, who gained 21 yards. Four plays later, Griffin pitched to Banks, who initially fumbled, but the ball bounced back up and into his hands, and the speedy receiver picked up six yards.
“Banks is a playmaker. He’s a guy that gives you mismatches,” said Griffin, who capped the drive by throwing a three-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss. “It doesn’t matter whether they play him the right way or not. He can get you five yards. Coach will definitely put things in the game plan to help Banks get the ball. He did a good job stepping up for us in the game, going out there, making plays.”
Banks finished the game with three carries for 29 yards. It was Banks’ most extensive action with the offense, and also a sign of things to come.
“We’ve had him as a wide receiver/running back,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “He can do both. And he has the ability to make people miss, when he gets the ball in the open field. He’s very good at that, and that’s one of the reason why we kept him. Not only as a punt returner, but we felt like he could help us at the wide receiver and running back position if someone goes down.”