Some trains are never late, including the one that travels to muddled running back situations on teams coached by Mike Shanahan.
Discussions about the starting running back for the Redskins this season have sometimes pointed to Tim Hightower as the team’s lead rusher, but only if he’s healthy enough after last year’s knee injury. Roy Helu, who had some good moments late last season, hasn’t been on the field enough because of his own injuries and Evan Royster lost a chance to nail down the job against the Colts because of knee soreness.
Hightower was able to play for the first time in the preseason on Saturday, but all the injuries left Alfred Morris to start and he took full advantage of the chance. Morris gained 107 yards on 14 carries and scored a touchdown to make his case for a lot more than the roster spot he hoped to win as a sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic.
It appears he’s won that much, but Shanahan wouldn’t offer any insight about a starting job after the game. While he praised Morris’ performance and said he’s in the mix for the nod, Shanahan was quick to point out that being the last man standing isn’t the same as winning the job.
“When you only have one guy that’s really healthy, it’s really hard to say a guy has taken advantage or taken control,” Shanahan said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “We’ve had some guys pretty beat up and they haven’t had a chance to get a lot of reps. Alfred has taken advantage of his reps and he looked good today.”
Woody Allen once said that eighty percent of success was showing up. Being healthy enough to show up has certainly served Morris well this preseason.