By Tarik El-Bashir
Tim Hightower and Roy Helu Jr. both suited up for today’s practice at Redskins Park, though it remains unclear if either running back will be available for next month’s regular season opener.
“I really don’t know yet,” Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday, asked if Hightower and Helu will be ready to play in New Orleans.
Hightower, who returned to practice after attending his grandfather’s funeral on Tuesday, still is recovering from knee surgery.
“I think we’ll find out more tomorrow, but he did have pads on and did get a number of reps today,” Shanahan said. “Hopefully there’s no setback. He practiced on the scout team and got a few reps with our offense today, which is a good sign.”
“He’s made some strides but it’s really hard to tell until he goes full speed. Once you put the pads on, it’s different than going in shorts,” Shanahan added about Hightower. “Tomorrow will be a good indication of how he feels; [today] was the first day he actually had contact and ran with our first, second, third team offense and ran our plays.”
Helu, who is suffering from two sore Achilles’ tendons, “didn’t do too much today,” Shanahan said.
Hightower and Helu are listed first and third, respectively, on the Redskins’ depth chart entering Saturday’s preseason game in Colts.
Asked if either has a shot at playing three days from now at FedEx Field, Shanahan didn’t sound hopeful.
“I can’t tell you right now,” the coach said. “Neither one could play right now.”
You never know, they could be fine by the first game. Keep your fingers crossed.