10.12.2011

Three Way Running Back Battle For The Redskins


Heading into Week 6, the Washington Redskins (3-1) find themselves in a position with three talented running backs. They may not be the highest profile running backs in the league, but they are very fitting for the Redskins offense. Tim Hightower started the season as the featured back in the Redskins offense, but the emergence of rookie Roy Helu has cut into Hightower's playing time. A banged up shoulder in Week 4 opened the door for Ryan Torain and he took advantage of the opportunity by rushing for 135 yards yards and a score on 19 carries. So who is going to be the guy in Washington? Or is it going to be a committee? Here is the breakdown of each back:

Tim Hightower
233 yards, 67 carries (3.5 avg), 1 TD
Hightower is a local guy that started his career with the Arizona Cardinals. He seemed to fit the mold of a Mike Shanahan back perfectly, making sense as to why they went out and got him. He had a strong preseason and looked poised for a monster year in 2011. He has been the starter in each of the Redskins four games, but has yet to take advantage of being the number one back.

Roy Helu
126 yards, 24 carries (5.3 avg), 0 TD
Helu has looked very good in his rookie season. The back out of Nebraska has done everything right and has earned the backup role. Some feel like he is as good, if not better than the other two backs in this system, but he needs the game experience the other two have. I would expect for Helu to keep getting his touches.

Ryan Torain
135 yards, 19 carries (7.1 avg), 1 TD
Torain was the starter towards the end of last season after Clinton Portis was injured. Torain had his ups and his downs, but he was a promising young back in the Shanahan system. A broken hand limited Torain's work this preseason and Hightower emerged as the number one guy while Helu has impressed as the backup. After finally getting some playing time, Torain had a breakout game in Week 4 against the Rams.

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