Alfred Morris will remain the Washington Redskins’ starting running back following his solid debut Sunday, coach Mike Shanahan said Monday.
A sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic University, Morris forced his way into the Redskins’ running back competition after rushing for a team-high 195 yards and a touchdown on 39 carries during the preseason.
On Sunday, he got the nod over second-year backs Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster and rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries.
Royster and Helu had two carries apiece, tallying 10 and two yards, respectively. Helu also had three catches for 25 yards, including a long of 21 yards.
Morris mustered only 21 yards on nine carries in the first half. But in the secondf, he ground out 75 yards on 19 carries. Shanahan said Morris’s play on Sunday only reaffirmed what he believed about the rookie following the preseason.
Shanahan said last week that he would ride the hot hand rather than restrict himself to one starting running back. But the coach said Monday that for now, Morris has cemented his status as the team’s workhorse.
“Alfred right now is our starting running back. I thought he did a very good job. [There were] two or three runs in there that a lot of people can’t make, and we’re gonna substitute him when he gets tired,” Shanahan said. “Or, like you mention, if he’s not playing well or maybe he doesn’t have a hot hand. But right now, based on what I’ve seen in the preseason and what I’ve seen through the first game, he will be our starting running back, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of belief in Helu or Royster. Those guys did a heck of a job for us last year and will continue to do a great job for us this year. But Alfred will be our starter.”