Redskins running back Tim Hightower was a conflicted man Thursday night. He was on the sideline for the preseason opener at Buffalo but could not play because of a knee injury. The observer role did not suit him.

“I hate watching,” he said Saturday afternoon at Redskins Park. “I’m not good at that. I’m learning this virtue that they call patience.

“I love winning,” he added in reference to the team’s 7-6 victory over the Bills. “Preseason, postseason, regular season. It was good to see some of those younger running backs — Alfred Morris and Tristan [Davis] — get in there and get the opportunity. From a selfish standpoint, I want to be out there competing with my teammates. But the competitor in me and the teammate in me, you want to see your team win and you want to see guys start to come together.”

Morris, a sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, carried 15 times for 54 yards. Davis, signed to the practice squad in October, got one carry, for minus-3 yards.

The Redskins have one of the more intriguing backfields in the league, with Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster rushing for 321, 640 and 328 yards, respectively, last season. The 6-foot, 220-pound Hightower, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the fifth game a year ago, was listed first on the depth chart that the team released last week.

Helu in 2011 averaged 4.2 yards per carry and also caught 49 passes for 379 yards. Royster averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Hightower averaged 3.8 yards per carry and had 15 catches.

“The good thing about here is that if they bring you here, they feel like you can start,” Hightower said. “That’s the one thing that [Coach Mike Shanahan] stresses. They don’t have No. 1s; they don’t have No. 2s. You earn your job every single day. You earn your job every single week. They treat everyone like a starter, and they expect you to think like a starter.”