NFL Rumors: Could Evan Royster Start for the Washington Redskins?

Tim Hightower is still recovering from the ACL injury that ended his season last October. The Washington Redskins’coaches will likely limit Hightower’s workload when camp starts July 26th, as there are still concerns over how explosive Hightower can cut and accelerate of his left knee. If Tim Hightower isn’t healthy by week 1, 2nd year back – Evan Royster could get the nod as Washington’s primary back against the New Orleans Saints.

After being called up from the practice squad late last season, Evan Royster finished the year with two consecutive 100-yard games. He racked up 132 yards against the Minnesota Vikings in week 16 and 113 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles week 17. Royster’s 132 yards in week 16 was the team’s highest rushing total since Ryan Torain ran for 135 yards in week 4.

The 6th round pick of 2011′s NFL Draft is Washington’s most complete back, behind Tim Hightower. After improving his pass protection last season, he’s envisioned as a possible every down back and a breakout player candidate. Royster doesn’t have break away ability and isn’t as explosive as Hightower, but he understands how to find a hole, put his head down, and churn up-field. Those are the qualities that coach, Mike Shanahan looks for, and that skill-set can be maximized in this system.

Roy Helu Jr. is Washington’s most explosive back, and with Robert Griffin III, that duo could be something special. However, Helu is at his best when used sporadically. It brings a surprise element to the offense, and as I’ve said numerous of times, Helu could be the next Jammal Charles.

The running back position isn’t a huge concern, as the Redskins have guys capable of gaining yards. It’s an intriguing situation to monitor however, especially if Tim Hightower isn’t fully healthy.

Emmanual Benton is a featured Washington Redskins columnist for If you enjoy talking Redskins and all things NFL, follow Emmanual on Twitter: 

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