Alfred Morris is locked in as the go to guy in the backfield. The question on Redskins fans minds is who is coming with him?
The Camp Battles series rolls on with a look at the running backs corp. If you missed the earlier posts, they are below:
There is no question after the season that Alfred Morris had for the Redskins that he is the primary workhorse in this backfield. But behind Morris, there will be a lot of competition for two or three running back roster spots. Health will play a major role in who makes the final cut. If Roy Helu can get — and stay — healthy, he is almost guaranteed to have the spot as Morris’ main back up. As we saw in his rookie year, when healthy, Helu can be an electric change of pace running back who brings speed, power and versatility to the Redskins backfield. Helu is also a good receiver as he totaled 49 receptions as a rookie. There is the potential for Helu to be the perfect compliment to Alfred Morris’ rugged, bruising running style by bringing his change of pace speed while also allowing to take a little pressure off Morris.
The Skins also selected two more running backs in this years draft in Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison. There is a possibility one, or both, could be called upon this season to help balance the rushing load.
Chris Thompson has an electric style, but his durability is an obviously cause for concern. He suffered a broken back in 2011 and tore his ACL in 2012 while at Florida State. Thompson says he will be healthy by training camp and be able to contribute fully in Richmond. Similar to Helu, Thompson could compliment Morris’ style as that change of pace back and will be best as a third-down back.
I also believe that either Helu or Thompson will win the Redskins kick off returning job this season. Their electric running style and open field speed would be a great asset to our return game.
As time goes on, it is becoming clear that Jawan Jamison will be threatening for a roster spot on the Redskins during training camp and the preseason. Jamison is a lot like Ray Rice as he is undersized but is a great pass protector, a good receiver, and a decisive one cut runner that should fit well into our system.
On the outside looking in is probably going to be Evan Royster. He is only adequate as a reserve and is replaceable, he doesn’t do anything exceptionally well but can do everything if asked. He’s better running 15-20 times a game than given spot duty and being a third-down back.
On this date my prediction for the running backs is:
Starter: Alfred Morris
Back up: Roy Helu
Back up: Chris Thompson
Practice Squad: Jawan Jamison
Time will tell is Roy Helu can stay healthy enough to have as big an impact on this offense as I believe he has the ability to. But there is a very strong chance that the Redskins could be leaning on their rookie rushers from time to time in certain game situations. This should be a fun battle to watch in Richmond.
NEXT UP: Tight Ends