In Washington there aren’t very many positions that have depth to the point where each member could be a starter. That’s not to say they aren’t all rightfully good within their own, but the running back position might be one of the very few that each player could be the starter.
Obviously with Mike Shanahan, you never know who will make the team as a running back nor start each week, but if one thing’s for certain, Mike Shanahan has one of the toughest decisions this year as far as picking his running backs.
Alfred Morris probably won’t be beaten out from the starting position as so far during his limited time in preseason he looks the same as last year, minus his new quickness. Unless injury occurs, there’s no reason why Morris shouldn’t finish in the same ballpark as he did last year.
Roy Helu has made significant progress with his Achilles and ability to run down hill, the only question is can he get the stretch down effectively as that has been his major detriment so far in the running game.
Evan Royster who backed up Alfred Morris last season has been unnoticeable. He hasn’t impressed so far and with an injury he might not get much playing time against Tampa Bay. Royster could go from a roster spot to finding himself cut.
Rookie Chris Thompson has looked decent so far, but his main issue is his inability to hold on to the ball. If he continues to struggle, he might not make it as a running back, but with the recent season-ending injury to Richard Crawford, he could find himself as the punt returner in 2013.
Jawan Jamison is probably a long shot from making the team, but could clear waivers and end up on the practice squad, the only question is, is he the poor man’s Ray Rice as many has claimed coming out of college?
Then there’s Keiland Williams, who so far this preseason and training camp has been the guy to watch. Unlike his 2013 campaign with the Washington Redskins when he finished with 261 yards and three touchdowns, Williams looks like a rejuvenated man who has something to prove.
On just 18 carries this preseason, Keiland Williams has rushed for 102 yards and one touchdown. He is running between the tackles extremely well, and bouncing off of and away from tacklers, making him one of the best running backs for the Redskins this preseason.
Preseason of course means nothing, especially when you aren’t always rushing against players who will make the 53-man cut, but that’s not to say Williams hasn’t opened anyone’s eyes.
Mike Shanahan must see something in Williams, as this is the second time he has brought Keiland Williams back to the Washington Redskins. Perhaps he knows he’ll bring competition and that’s it, but with Evan Royster not looking great, Chris Thompson possibly returning punts, and Jawan Jamison not being ready, Williams might fit in as the third running back for the Redskins.