Roy Helu takes a handoff from Robert Griffin III in practice Aug. 4. (Tracy A. Woodward/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Shanahan said he doesn’t know when Helu will be able to return to full strength.

Shanahan said running back Tim Hightower, who missed Tuesday’s practice to attend his grandfather’s funeral and is working his way back from knee surgery, was back in pads today. Shanahan said he’ll have a better idea of whether Hightower will be able to play Saturday following Thursday’s practice.

Shanahan doesn’t know whether either Hightower or Helu will be ready for the season opener.

Shanahan also said that linebacker and team captain London Fletcher should be able to play Saturday.

Shanahan said cornerbacks Cedric Griffin, Kevin Barnes, Brandyn Thompson and Richard Crawford remain knotted in tight competition. The coach said he hopes the pecking order sorts itself out over the next two games.