Running back Chris Thompson. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins resumed roster cuts on Saturday morning, releasing running backs Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk and Chris Thompson, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Running back represented one of the stiffest competitions of the preseason. Washington had Pro Bowl workhorse back Alfred Morris locked in as the starter, and Roy Helu Jr. as his top backup and primary third-down back. But that left Royster, a four-year veteran, Thompson, a second-year pro, and the two rookies Seastrunk and Silas Redd, to compete for the final spot or two on the unit.

Redskins coaches liked Thompson’s speed, elusiveness and pass-catching ability. But durability was an issue for him as he managed to play in only two preseason games after missing portions of the last three football seasons (one in the NFL and two in college).

Seastrunk shined Thursday night, scoring on an 80-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass. But he also displayed a need for growth this preseason. The team would like to re-sign him to its practice squad if he goes unclaimed.

Royster spent the last three seasons with Washington after the team selected him in the sixth round out of Penn State. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry in six appearances (two starts) as a rookie, and then served as the primary third-down back in 2012, averaging 3.8 yards a carry and 7.3 yards a reception. Royster played only sparingly on offense last season, however.

A lack of speed and physicality was the main stumbling block for Royster in the eyes of his coaches.

Redd this preseason led Washington with 157 rushing yards and a touchdown on 34 carries. He also had three catches for 26 yards. Royster’s former teammate at Penn State before transferring to USC, he signed with Washington as an undrafted rookie this spring. He displayed good versatility with an ability to run well between the tackles, and pick up yards on the edge.

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