Redskins' Helu banged up again

August, 13, 2012
8/13/12
7:41
PM ET
I feel compelled to write about any issue that ever comes up with Washington Redskins running backs. I feel the fantasy community demands it. Not to mention by Redskins readers.

Helu
The news today is that Roy Helu Jr. has Achilles tendonitis. No timetable for a return, but Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he's had it before and didn't sound overly concerned.

Thing is, this is exactly the thing that concerns Redskins decision-makers about Helu. They like him, a lot, when he's on the field. They believe he could be their starting running back if he could stay healthy. They believe this about three other players as well, but it's important to note that despite the fact that Tim Hightower is the nominal starter (if healthy) and Evan Royster and Alfred Morris might have shown more in camp this summer, the Redskins still think very highly of Helu and his ability. What they worry about is his ability to stay healthy, and his brief NFL career so far has shown that those worries are well founded.

So keep an eye on Helu's health. Even if he only has to miss a few practices, an injury like this could set him back in the competition to be the starting running back while Hightower remains on the shelf. Not only does it deprive him of a chance to compete directly with Royster and Morris, it reinforces the validity of the biggest concern the Redskins' coaches have about Helu -- that he's a player prone to injuries and breaking down.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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