The Washington Redskins have released third-year pro Ryan Torain, ending a perplexing season in which the running back struggled, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. . 

Quarterback Rex Grossman (8) hands off to running back Ryan Torain (46) during the first quarter of the Redskins’ game at Miami Nov. 13. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 ESPN 980 first reported the news of Torain’s release.

In the fourth game of the season, with Hightower banged up, Torain rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against the St. Louis Rams. But his production dropped off significantly after that.  Following the Week 5 bye, Torain gained only 22 yards on 10 carries against the Eagles, and hasn’t had a run longer than six yards since. 

Since the Rams game, Torain has produced only 65 yards on 40 carries.

 Torain was on the inactive list for two straight weeks before Sunday’s game against Minnesota. But with rookie running back Roy Helu sidelined by knee and toe injuries, fellow rookie Evan Royster was bumped up to starter and Torain served as his backup. 

Torain had two first-half carries for a combined six yards. He had two more carries in the second halft, mustering only two yards to finish with four carries for eight yards. 

Royster, meanwhile, carried the ball 19 times for 132 yards – both career highs.  

When asked about Torain’s ineffectiveness, Shanahan could offer little insight.  

“It’s hard to say,” said Shanahan, who in 2008 drafted Torain in Denver and brought him to Washington last season. “ But what you look for is consistency at every position. The people that are consistent get more opportunities. If you’re not consistent, you don’t get as many opportunities to show us what you can do.”  

Sixth-round pick Aldrick Robinson, a wide receiver, was promoted to the 53-man roster, filling Torain’s spot.

Shanahan said that he feels good about the future of the Redskins’ running back position. Before Hightower’s season-ending knee injury, Washington’s rushing attack ranked among the top 10 in the league. And after four ineffective starts by Torain, Helu took over as starter and recorded three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Then Royster did so on Saturday, marking the first time the Redskins have had two rookies surpass the century mark in the same season.

 In the last five weeks, Washington has averaged 128.8 rushing yards a game, tied for 10th-best in the NFL. 

“Well, you can see we have some depth,” Shanahan said. “I think Roy’s done a fantastic job as well as Royster coming in and taking advantage of an opportunity. I thought Tim did a great job before he got hurt. So we do have some depth at that position that you’re looking for.”

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