Evan Royster, Roy Helu To Sit Saturday; Tim Hightower To Debut
ASHBURN – Evan Royster will not play Saturday in the Washington Redskins’ preseason game against Indianapolis after experiencing what he described as soreness in his right knee.
Royster did not practice either of the last two days, he said, after waking up Wednesday morning with discomfort. He underwent an MRI on the knee, which showed no structural damage.
“I guess they’re just being cautious with it,” Royster said Thursday. “It feels a lot better today than it did yesterday, so hopefully, I can get back. I’d still like to play, but if he said I’m not, then I guess I’m not.”
Roy Helu, the Redskins’ leading rusher last season, hasn’t practiced in two weeks because of tendinitis in both of his Achilles and will also sit against Indianapolis.
But the Redskins will get a boost from the return of Tim Hightower, who will make his preseason debut as a reserve after tearing the ACL in his left knee last October.
“My mind is ready to practice, to play, to do everything, but you’ve just got to take it day to day,” Hightower said. “This morning, I woke up and I felt great, so that was definitely a big step.”
Head coach Mike Shanahan said Thursday’s practice would be crucial in evaluating Hightower’s readiness. He returned to practice earlier in the week, but the team had reservations as to how Hightower’s knee would hold up.
“I just said, ‘Hey, looks like you’re ready to go. Let’s give it a shot,’” Shanahan said. “He thought he was ready to go. We just don’t want to put him out there too early.”
Royster has been the Redskins’ top running back in practice throughout the preseason and was the featured back in the preseason opener at Buffalo before serving as a third-down back at Chicago on Saturday.
Rookie Alfred Morris, who started against the Bears, should rotate with Hightower, Tristan Davis and undrafted rookies Antwon Bailey and Lennon Creer on Saturday against Indianapolis.