Washington Redskins running back Tim Hightower, keeping busy despite being hobbled by a torn ACL, took part Tuesday in an NFL Play 60 event. The fourth-year pro said he isn’t worried about the long recovery ahead of him or his future with the team.
Hightower and his mother Nikkie visited Steuart W. Weller Elementary School in Ashburn and presented students and faculty with a $10,000 NFL Play 60 grant for health and wellness programming and equipment. Hightower’s mother also presented the Procter & Gamble P&G Super Parents award – a $1,000 check for the support of the school’s athletic department. Steuart W. Weller Elementary was one of 34 schools across the country selected as winners in the Play 60 Back to Football Friday contest.
Hightower was scheduled to lead students through a series of fitness activities, but because he is on crutches, he enlisted the help of fellow backs Darrel Young, Roy Helu and Ryan Torain.
Hightower, who tore his ACL on Oct. 23 in a loss to Carolina, said he still felt it was important for him to attend the event and encourage the students to live healthy lives, even though he could only watch.
“A huge part of my rehab being a success is doing stuff like this to keep my spirits up. I know everything will work for the good,” Hightower said by phone. “So what, I’m hurt. You never know what a kid’s going through, so I wanted to still do whatever I can to encourage them.”
“Coming home to the Northern Virginia area to play football was extremely important to me, not just because of football, but because of the opportunity to invest in the communities close to my home,” added Hightower, who grew up in Alexandria.
Hightower, who was placed on injured reserve last Tuesday, has yet to have surgery but continues to receive treatment as the swelling in his left knee goes down. Hightower, whom Washington acquired from Arizona on July 31, was playing on a one-year restricted free agent contract and will be a free agent next spring.
He wants to return to the Redskins, but for now, Hightower says his primary focus is making a full recovery and using his extra time to involve himself in charitable work.
“It’s all going to work out,” said Hightower, who in five games had recorded a team-high 84 carries for 321 yards and a touchdown while also posting 10 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. “...I came here for a specific purpose, to play football here and to make a lasting impression on peoples lives. That’s what I’m doing now. As far as football. I’ll be fine. I’m taking everything one day at a time and I know it’ll all work out.”