The Redskins found their answer at running back last season when sixth-round pick Alfred Morris went from afterthought to second-leading rusher in the NFL. But questions remain about the team’s depth at running back.
Last season, Washington released slowly-recovering veteran back Tim Hightower (ACL), and went with second-year backs Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. as Morris’s backups.
But Helu lasted only three games before he was placed on injured reserve with toe and Achilles’ tendon injuries, and Royster had an uneven year as Morris’s backup and the primary third-down back.
While Morris excelled at running the ball, Redskins coaches used him only sparingly on third downs until late in the season, when Shanahan gave him the green light to remain on the field as much as he wanted.
As effective as Morris is, the Redskins likely could benefit from a change-of-pace back to spell him here and there, and on third downs. Morris carried the ball 335 times last season – third most in the NFL. At that pace, his longevity could be at risk.