Roy Helu Jr. Still Has Value For the Washington Redskins

By Greg Bradshaw


Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins’ running back Roy Helu Jr. has seen his role diminish greatly with the team. Helu Jr. was the Redskins’ leading rusher as a rookie in 2011. He also added 49 receptions out of the backfield that season, solidifying him as a dual threat from the running back position. Unfortunately, Helu Jr. suffered a left foot injury in the Redskins’ 2012 NFL season opener against the New Orleans Saints.  Shortly thereafter, Helu Jr. was put on injured reserve, having recorded only two carries for two yards for the season.

Adding to the intrigue is rookie running back Alfred Morris. He was named the Redskins’ starting running back after an impressive training camp. Morris never relinquished the starting position on his way to a franchise single season record 1.615 rushing yards. Morris’ performance relegated Helu Jr. to an afterthought in the backfield. Evan Royster served as the third down back in 2012, a role better suited for a healthy Helu Jr. Factor in the addition of running backs Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison via the 2013 NFL draft, and a strong case could be made that Helu Jr. could be on his way out of Washington.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Redskins would be foolish to let Helu Jr. go.  While Morris is the undisputed starter, quality backfield depth is hard to come by.  Maybe Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan can split Helu Jr. out as a wide receiver from time to time.  Considering that Kyle Shanahan has an innovative offensive mind, it can be reasoned that he can find a way to give Helu Jr. an expanded role in the Redskins’ offense in 2013.

But I digress. Being the competitor that he is, Helu Jr. is eager to cast aside his 2012 season and regain the form of his 2011 rookie season.  If he can fully recover from his foot injury, he will prove a capable replacement for Morris if necessary. If that happens, the Washington offense could really be considered a juggernaut.


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