This is round two for Hightower, who played in five games for the Redskins last season. He carried the ball 84 times for 321 yards and one touchdown and made 10 catches for 78 yards and one touchdown. However, with a torn ACL in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers, he was out for the season.
Last season, Helu finished strong with 100-yard games in Week 13 and 14, complimenting Royster’s 100-yard games Weeks 16 and 17.
This is where you’ve got to ask the question of where Hightower fits on the depth chart. Will he be a mentor? Or will he be a playmaker?
Evan Royster and Roy Helu have both earned their place in starting, don’t get me wrong. However, I would rather see Royster take the lead this season. He’s moving the ball at least 5 yards a carry and has a mean two-step. Be sure to make a note of that when you watch him cut up the middle. You will also notice that Royster doesn’t need a huge hole in the middle to make it happen: He only needs 2 seconds worth. Helu, on the other hand has a wonderful turnaround when he’s playing off the ball. He makes solid catches, and is a great option when you want power after reception. He’s also wonderful at getting to that first down marker, and plays the outside like a veteran. Still, Royster deserves the start.
This trifecta of backs could be the NFL’s “Three The Hard Way” if orchestrated right. I’ve been a fan of all three men for quite a while. This is what stability looks like in the backfield. When you add the running ability of Robert Griffin III, a panic button should probably be installed on the visiting team’s side.
But I don’t think we’re going to see a case of Michael Vick 2.0. This is a quarterback that doesn’t mind airing the ball out. People are going to work this season, and should be prepared to do so.