Here is what you need to know going into Tuesday, the Redskins’ last day of practice prior to the preseason opener.
If the season started today, the starting running back would be . . .
Eyebrows were raised among Redskins fans and, especially, in the world of fantasy football when the team issued its first depth chart and Evan Royster was listed as the second-team running back ahead of fellow second-year back Roy Helu Jr.
Tim Hightower was listed as the starter but he is still working to rehab a torn ACL he suffered last October. He has been participating in individual drills and Mike Shanahan has said that participation in team drills will not come until the knee is 95 percent healed. We don’t know when that will be.
In the meantime, Royster has been the running back on the field when the first team takes its first snap in 11 on 11 drills, usually a good indication that he will be the guy.
Helu, last year’s leading rusher, certainly will not be riding the pine even when Hightower returns. A role will be found that can utilize his big play skills. But it is likely to be Royster who takes the first handoff from Robert Griffin III on Thursday and, if Hightower is still limited on Sept. 9, in the opener in the Superdome.
The key word is “mild”
Chris Chester, who did not miss a snap at right guard last year, left practice early yesterday with what Mike Shanahan called a “mild” ankle sprain. Here he is leaving the field after practice.
He was taken from the edge of the field to the locker room in a cart but the relatively light tape job and the fact that he is walking off of the field is evidence that the injury is relatively minor.
Shanahan will tell us today who is out of Thursday’s game against Buffalo. Although it now seems likely that Chester will be on that list this injury should not be a long-term issue, barring any unforeseen developments.
In case you missed it
We had a lot of new content yesterday including a look at the depth chart, what Fred Davis goes through on a weekly basis as a result of his substance abuse suspension, and Shanahan huddling the team up for the second time in two practices.
The day ahead
The doors of Redskins Park are closed to fans today as the Redskins go through a walkthrough at 9:55 and what probably will be a light practice at 1:45.
The next open practice will be on Saturday at 2 p.m. That will be your last weekend chance to see the Redskins practice this year. For that matter, it’s your last chance to see them in Ashburn on a weekend until at least 2020 as training camp will be in Richmond between now and then.
Days until: Preseason opener @ Bills 2; Redskins @ Bears 11; RG3 vs. Luck @ FedEx Field 18; final cuts 24; Redskins @ Saints 33; home opener vs. Bengals 47