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Hamstring Injury Won’t Prevent Roy Helu From Taking Next Step

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Roy Helu planned to take a trip to Barcelona this summer, the first after his first season with the Washington Redskins.

Helu

Those plans changed, owing to a variety of injuries sustained in December. But Helu, who pulled his hamstring during a team workout early last week, is determined not to let that ailment affect his next excursion: His honeymoon.

“Somewhere … tropical,” Helu said, smiling.

Helu, 23, got married two weeks ago to Danielle Mancuso, a former volleyball player who he met while the two were in in college at Nebraska. The two hurried to plan their wedding this summer between seasons after an April proposal, and Helu was hesitant to reveal the exact details of his plans because he prefers it remain a surprise.

Then it will be back to work for Helu, who led the team with 640 rushing yards and had two touchdowns after Tim Hightower tore the ACL in his left knee and Ryan Torain was released.

“I’m just thankful to be healthy from stuff from last year that was more serious, as opposed to just, say, muscle things,” Helu said.

The 5-foot-11, 216-pound running back demonstrated an ability to succeed in the Redskins’ zone-blocking offense last year, showing the patience to wait for the hole to open and the burst to break through it.

He had three consecutive 100-yard games after taking over as the featured back, marking the first time a Redskins rookie had done so, and also set a team record for receptions when he had 14 for 105 yards in a loss to San Francisco.

Helu’s competition hasn’t changed much this offseason. Hightower is working his way back to full health and Evan Royster will also be entering his second year, though the team did add Alfred Morris, a sixth-round draft pick from Florida Atlantic, and has fourth-year veteran Tristan Davis and a pair of undrafted rookies in Lennon Creer and Antwon Bailey.

The hamstring is only a minor setback, and Helu should be ready for training camp, both he and head coach Mike Shanahan said.

“Other than that, things are going great,” Helu said.

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