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Redskins Starting Lineup Still In Limbo

Posted Aug 24, 2012

With RB Evan Royster out with a knee injury, the Redskins coaching staff is charged with fielding a healthy lineup, especially on offense.

The third preseason game is generally considered the dress rehearsal for the regular season, especially when the Redskins will take on the Buccaneers just four days later.

The concern for the Redskins coaching staff is fielding a healthy lineup, after a yet another running back injury, this time to Evan Royster (knee).

“It’s nothing season-ending, one or two games, we hope,” Shanahan said on Thursday.  “We’ll just keep our fingers crossed that with a little rehab, they’ll be ready to go at least by the first week.”

Fellow running back Tim Hightower made encouraging progress this week, and looks to be a possibility to return to action on Saturday.  Testing his surgically-repaired ACL in full-team drills this week, Shanahan is confident that Hightower can play, barring setbacks.

“We allowed him to go full-speed this week, starting out on the scout team, and he did a good job making different cuts and looked like he was going full-speed,” Shanahan said, “Yesterday he looked better and there were no setbacks, so he’s ready to go.”

The starter at tailback is still in question, however, as Shanahan does not want to risk putting Hightower in the starting lineup.

“We just don’t want to put him out there too early,” he said, “It’s my background with that, if you put him out there too early, there’s usually a setback. Hopefully, there’s no setback.

“He’s had enough reps in practice, to where he’s feeling comfortable with it.”

Coach Shanahan said offensive linemen Trent Williams and Chris Chester are also not at full health, but should both see playing time tomorrow.

“[Chester] had a good few days of practice,” Shanahan said. “He’s gotten better each day. Hopefully, there’s no setback in this game.”

Shanahan was not overly concerned with the health of his team, noting that training camp and the awkward preseason schedule can lead to fatigue and minor injuries.

“I really don’t worry about things I can’t control,” Shanahan said. “I don’t know if anybody is 100 percent; most guys are a little sore at this time of year.”

“We’re just going to get these guys back as quick as we can, get them healed up.”

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