After my rant last week about the poor coverage of Washington, I decided to sit back and see how the media would portray their loss to Carolina. Besides another quarterback article from none other than Jason Reid, the majority decided to play the safe route and concentrate on the mounting injuries.
Of all the injuries though, the loss of Redskins running back Tim Hightower could be a much larger than most seem to believe. Ryan Torain will start in his place in Toronto and is widely considered the better running back. People have wondered aloud, especially after the Rams game, why Torain hasn’t been the starter all year after his strong running a season ago. Although Torain may be the better runner of the two, Hightower’s overall game will be considerably missed the rest of the season.
With a banged up offense line and a inexperienced quarterback, the blitz pick up out of the backfield is essential for the ‘Skins offense to enjoy any success on passing downs. In this area, #25 will be severely missed. Ryan Torain is poor in blitz pickups and has poor hands out of the back field. TIm Hightower, however, excelled in both areas. He constantly knew where the blitzes were coming from and provided the quarterback with a nice safety valve out of the backfield with his strong hands. Without Hightower back there, Roy Helu will get plenty of opportunities to show the Shanahan’s what he is capable of.
Ryan Torain may believe he finally has the starter job to himself, but it is only a matter time before Helu gets his chance. Shanahan and Allen traded up for the former Nebraska running back and believes in him enough to make him the third down back as a rookie. Helu’s value will eventually over shadow Torain’s and result in a change at running back again. Tim Hightower will be sorely missed, but Roy Helu’s opportunity will not.