When asked why he decided to insert Ryan Torain into yesterday’s game, Mike Shanahan said that starter Tim Hightower was “a little banged up” at practice during the week so he was ready to sub in Torain.
It should be no surprise that Hightower is banged up. His workload so far this year has been about twice what it has been throughout his career.
Through four games, Hightower has 67 carries. Here is how many games it took him to get to his 67th carry in his first three years in the league:
2008: 8 games
2009: 8 games
2010: 8 games
You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure this one out. Hightower’s workload has been double what he is used to. He is not an every down back but the Redskins tried to make him one. After he missed a couple of cutback lanes in the early going on Sunday, Shanahan put in Torain, who had not seen as much as a snap in the first three games.
Hightower will have the bye week to rest up so he will have his chances to contribute in the last 12 games. Mike and Kyle Shanahan will need to manage its workload so it is closer to the nine or 10 carries a game he averaged for the first three years of his career rather than the average of 20 he had for the season going into the Rams game.