2014 DRAFT GUIDE
With Helu, Washington has 3-pronged rushing attack

By KEVIN DUNLEAVY - Associated Press
    2013-10-23 16:59

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Coming off their two best rushing performances of the season, the Washington Redskins are starting to resemble the team that closed the 2012 regular season with seven straight wins.

Though, instead of two rushing threats - Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris - the Redskins have three.

Adding Roy Helu Jr. to the rotation has given the Redskins a fresh pair of legs, and a dimension they lacked last season when Helu was limited by injuries and Morris was the NFL's third most-used back in the NFL, rushing 335 times.

''We trust him. He's made a lot of great runs,'' Griffin said. ''To just give Al a chance to get out of the game and maybe not get as many carries as he would have last year, keep his body fresh, that helps.''

In the last two games - a 31-16 loss at Dallas and a 45-41 win over Chicago - the Redskins have had three players rush for at least 40 yards each. In Mike Shanahan's previous 53 games as head coach, Washington had never had three players rush for at least 40 yards.

''It's great. It's a change of pace from every angle,'' fullback Darrel Young said. ''You see Roy on more third downs and passing situations and he runs the ball. Alfred's being Alfred. Robert's being Robert. It's just three different threats.''

With Washington (2-4) facing a challenging game Sunday at Denver (6-1) in Shanahan's return against the team he coached from 1995 to 2008, his offense enters in high gear. The 499 yards they gained Sunday marked their highest total in a regulation game since 1999. The energized rushing attack appears to have facilitated the passing game. Griffin's 105.2 quarterback rating Sunday was his best this season.

''For us being able to run the ball is huge. It sets up the play action and really kind of helps us execute our game plan,'' guard Kory Lichtensteiger said. ''When you run the ball that much, and that effectively, when you do have the dropbacks, it makes (the defense) hesitate for a second on pass-rush moves.''

Washington has waited patiently for Helu. He had a promising rookie season out of Nebraska, rushing for 640 yards and catching 49 passes for 379 yards. But last year, Achilles and toe injuries limited him to three games and nine touches from scrimmage. On Sunday, Helu carried 11 times for 41 yards and three touchdowns.

The emergence of Helu has coincided with more running from Griffin. After carrying 18 times for 72 yards in the first four games, Griffin has rushed 20 times for 161 yards, as Washington has used many more read-option plays. On Wednesday, Griffin said his increased workload is a simple matter of taking what defenses have been giving, not gaining confidence in his surgically-repaired knee. He suffered the second torn ACL of his football career in a playoff loss last year to Seattle.

''I think everyone wants to have that story and say it clicked mentally for him and his knee was fine at this moment. But I don't think that's what it was,'' Griffin said. ''I've had the confidence (in the knee). It's just presented itself these past two weeks and I've taken full advantage.''

NOTES: The Redskins welcomed back a familiar face, signing free-agent Jordan Pugh. The safety, who played all 17 games last year, was released Oct. 15. Pugh fills a void created by the two-game suspension of Brandon Meriweather and the possible loss of Reed Doughty, who suffered a concussion Sunday against the Bears. Doughty's status will be determined later this week as he undergoes league-mandated concussion protocols . The last time Washington gained at least 200 yards in back-to-back games, was 1984, in the glory days of John Riggins and the Hogs.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group