Running back Tim Hightower bowls over a blocking dummy in front of running backs coach Bobby Turner Tuesday (John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Hightower tore the ACL in his left knee last October, had surgery in November and has been limited primarily to individual and one-on-one drills so far this season. But Hightower received the green light to take part in Thursday’s action, and appeared to do well.

In previous practices, the fifth-year veteran would get a carry or two during non-contact action, but still moved with a noticeable limp. On Thursday, the Redskins practiced without pads, and Hightower rotated in as scout team running back. He displayed good quickness and improved cutting ability.

Following practice, Hightower said that he felt “pretty good” about his outing, and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he was encouraged by what he saw in his most veteran running back.

“Tim practiced today and did a pretty good job out there. I felt really good about that,” Shanahan said. “He did a lot of scout team plays, but you can see he’s making a lot of progress and we’ll get a chance to evaluate him next week.”

Shanahan has said the Redskins hope Hightower could return to action for the team’s third preseason game – Aug. 25 against Indianapolis – but has also cautioned that the more realistic date could be the Aug. 29 preseason finale versus Tampa Bay.