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Royster changes number, hopes to start Sunday

Royster changes number, hopes to start Sunday

Evan Royster missed the Redskins third exhibition game because of swelling in his right knee. A week later, he was pulled in the first half of the teams preseason finale after experiencing numbness in his arms.

On Monday, however, Royster participated fully in practice and said he hopes to be tapped by Coach Mike Shanahan as the starting tailback for the regular season opener in New Orleans five days from now.

Royster is listed ahead of Roy Helu Jr. and Alfred Morris on the teams unofficial depth chart.

Everything is good, Royster said of the ailments. They dont even make me go in the training room anymore. Everything is cleared up.

Royster described the neck injury as scary but ultimately minor in nature.

It was a little weird, he said. I was pass-blocking and somebody jumped and landed on top of my head. I felt numbness and tingling go down both my arms. The Redskins training staff told me, Youre done. Dont even risk it.

Nothing ever came of it, he added. Im fine.

Now, he just hopes his number his new one, that is gets called when the starters are announced Sunday at the Superdome. Royster ditched No. 35 for No. 22, the jersey number he wore at Penn State. (No. 22 was vacated by cornerback Kevin Barnes when he was traded to Detroit last week.)

I just didnt like 35, the 24-year-old Fairfax native explained. I told them if a number in the 20s opens up, pencil me in. It just so happens this is the number I wore in college.

Royster said Shanahan hasnt told the running backs which of them will get the nod against the Saints.

Sunday, Royter chuckled when asked when he expects to find out. I have no idea. Its hard to tell. Im just practicing like Im going to start.

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Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Ohio State named former quarterback Dwayne Haskins the 2019 Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, a few months after the Washington Redskins drafted Haskins in the first round. 

Washington drafted Haskins 15th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, after Haskins threw 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns with Ohio State in the 2018 season, the first season he started for the Buckeyes.

Haskins also set 28 Ohio State and seven Big Ten records in his junior year with the Buckeyes, after which he was awarded the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award. 

Now Haskins vies for a spot as the Redskins' starting quarterback, after attending both Washington's voluntary organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. The rookie is one of three players––including Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, who is working back from injury––fighting for that spot in the starting lineup, as Washington prepares for the preseason.  

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There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

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USA Today Sports Images

There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

No Redskins receiver caught more than 45 passes last season, and the team lost their steadiest wideout of the last two years when Jamison Crowder signed with the Jets in free agency. 

Even with that, the Redskins coaching staff remains bullish on the team's pass catchers for this season, and second-year pro Trey Quinn is a big reason why.

Last season as a seventh-round rookie, Quinn made the team after showing great hands and a consistent ability to get separation from defenders. Listed at 6-foot and 200 pounds, Quinn is a natural slot receiver in the NFL, but last year, that role very clearly belonged to Crowder. 

With Crowder gone, that role has changed.

"Trey Quinn has taken over the inside slot role," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said during minicamp. 
"He’s confident, he’s quick, he’s got strong hands, he’s physical, [and] he’s tough," 

The toughness will be key, as Quinn twice landed on the injured reserve list in his rookie season. He played in just three games last year but made an impact when he was on the field, grabbing nine catches and scoring a touchdown in Dallas. 

Looking at Crowder's production over the last four seasons, Quinn will get lots of opportunities.

In four seasons with the Redskins, Crowder played in 56 games and averaged 5.8 targets per game. He averaged about 12 yards-per-catch in Washington, and was good for 60+ catches per season in his first three years with the 'Skins before injuries limited Crowder to just nine games in 2018. That's a lot of action for the slot role in Gruden's offense. 

Looking at the Redskins potential quarterbacks, Quinn would be an asset for any of them. Case Keenum's game definitely works well with skilled slot WRs - like Stefon Diggs in Minnesota two seasons ago. If rookie Dwayne Haskins gets the starting job, he could certainly use a consistent target in the middle of the field, and Quinn should serve that role. Should Colt McCoy take over as Redskins starter, he and Quinn actually found success on the field last season, particularly against the Cowboys. 

In fact, Keenum is already speaking highly of the former Mr. Irrelevant. 

"Trey Quinn is going to be really special," Keenum said during minicamp. 

Health is never a guarantee. Quinn struggled to stay on the field as a rookie, but when he was on the field, he did not struggle. Redskins receivers coach Ike Hilliard is typically a man of few words, but even he praised Quinn this offseason and considers him a breakout candidate for the 2019 season.


Summer is the time for optimism in the NFL. Nobody has fumbled, players are mostly healthy, and nothing has gone wrong. 

With Quinn, there is plenty of optimism. More importantly, based on Crowder's targets, there are reasons to buy the excitement around Quinn. 

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