When the season ended, Roy Helu Jr. had been on the injured reserve list since Week 4. He had been shelved due to a variety of, as they say in hockey, lower body injuries. The big issue seemed to be a toe injury and perhaps because of that he had problems with his Achilles tendon.

By the end of the season, Helu didn’t seem to be a whole lot better off. “I haven’t tried to sprint yet,” he said the day after the Redskins’ season ended. “It’s just random when the pain comes.”

He knew what his injury wasn’t. It was not the same one that caused wide receiver Pierre Garçon to miss six games during the season. “[It’s] different, “Helu said. “I’m not sure how much but I know they’re different.”

It appears that Helu finally has more answers about his health than questions. In February he underwent surgery on his left foot and they discovered some damaged cartilage that wasn’t showing up on examinations. The repair was made and Helu’s rehab finally started to progress. Helu says that he aims to be able to participate in OTA’s starting next month “without limitations”.

If Helu is a full go for the regular season he could bring some elements to the Redskins’ offense that were missing last year. Last year the top two running backs combined to catch 26 passes with Alfred Morris catching 11 and Evan Royster 15. Helu caught seven in his very limited playing time (45 snaps). In 2011 Helu caught 49 passes including a team record 14 in Week 9 against the 49ers. Most of those were dump off passes but he showed he could turn those into gold when he caught a screen and took it 47 yards for a touchdown in the season finale against the Eagles (highlight at 1:20 mark).

Helu also adds a dynamic element to the offense. His hurdle of a Seahawks defender en route to a 23-yard touchdown run was one of the highlights of the 2011 season (see photo above).