The Redskins will report to training camp on July 25. Over the next five weeks they will undergo the process of cutting their 90-man roster down to 53. Which players will get those coveted spots and which will join the ranks of the unemployed? Over the next couple of weeks we’ll go through position by position and try to predict what decisions Mike Shanahan and company will make.
The first area we will look at is running back, including fullback.
There are eight running backs on the roster, the Redskins will keep four.
In: Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Darrell Young
Out: Tristan Davis, Alfred Morris, Antwon Bailey, Lennon Creer
Changes from 2011: Hightower back from injured reserve, Ryan Torain released just prior to the end of last season
Bubble watch: Morris, a sixth-round pick, has a chance if he can learn to play fullback as well as halfback. However, there appears to be no room for him. His best shot is to wind up on the practice squad and wait to be called up if someone gets hurt.
This should be one of the most stable units on the team. All four of those who are expected to make it were with the team a year ago. Royster came off of the practice squad in Week 12 and Hightower was the starter in five of the first six games before winding up on IR.
It seems like Helu is penciled in as the starter right now, given how he finished up 2011, but it’s a very light pencil. Nobody would be surprised in the least if Hightower lined up for the first snap in New Orleans. During the course of the year, Royster could get his share of starts as well.
The starter could be the hot hand, he could be the last man standing. Hightower is coming off of a knee injury and Helu was banged up the last few games of last year after carrying the load for a month.
Davis, Bailey, and Creer have talent but the numbers are stacked against them. Fortunately, to coaches are unlikely to work the front-line players too much during preseason games so those three and Morris should get plenty of carries. That will give them to get a shot at the practice squad or to get a look by another team.