Evan Royster ‘Giddy, Excited’ After Being Promoted To Redskins’ Active Roster
ASHBURN – Evan Royster finished working out at Redskins Park on Tuesday afternoon when he found out he would be promoted off the Washington Redskins’ practice squad and to the 53-man active roster.
“I was excited,” Royster said. “I was giddy all day. I was excited, telling everybody I know, my family and stuff. It’s a great experience, a great opportunity for me.”
Royster, a 6-foot-1, 213-pound running back, spent the first 11 weeks of the Redskins’ season on the practice squad. A sixth-round pick in April’s NFL Draft, the rookie will now have an opportunity to make his debut as soon as Sunday against Seattle.
To make room for Royster, the Redskins released Tashard Choice, whom they claimed off waivers when he was released by Dallas in late October. Choice made his debut for the team in Sunday’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Cowboys and carried the ball six times for seven yards.
Royster said the decision came at a good time for him. When starter Tim Hightower tore the ACL in his left knee at Carolina on Oct. 23, Royster thought he would be promoted to the active roster in the following days. The Redskins even signed running back Tristan Davis to the eight-player practice squad, signifying a change may be coming.
But the team chose to press forward with only two running backs against Buffalo, then claimed Choice off waivers. Royster went from seeing an opportunity to wondering if it would ever come.
“I mean, the whole year has been an emotional rollercoaster for me, but it’s just good that the opportunity is here and I get to try to prove myself,” Royster said.
The Alexandria native left Penn State after last year as the school’s all-time leading rusher. He had 26 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown in the preseason, including a 66-yard performance against Pittsburgh in the first preseason game.
Washington has struggled to run the ball since Hightower’s injury, averaging 49.8 yards in the four games since Hightower went down.
“I think I fit our system well,” Royster said. “I think the one-cut, downhill run is what I am. It’s what I’ve always been. I’m used to this type of offense and the zone blocking is what I’ve run for 10 years now. I think I fit in well and I’ll get used to it pretty quick.”