Added to Washington's active roster on Tuesday, new Redskins running back Byron Marshall is hoping that his fresh legs and capabilities as both a runner and pass catcher will help down the stretch.
Byron Marshall was ready for another week helping the Philadelphia Eagles prepare for an upcoming game when he got word that he was no longer with the team. It wasn't that Philadelphia no longer wanted him.
He had instead been signed off the Eagles' practice squad to the Washington Redskins' active squad.
"I was just leaving the building, we had just gotten out of meetings. But I was happy," Marshall said of getting a call informing him he was now a member of the Redskins. "You know, Philly is doing their thing over there and everything, but I was ready to play. It felt like I had an opportunity to be up [on the active roster] over there and just didn't get the call. So, my agent called me and told me that I was up over here, so just went home and packed ASAP and drove down."
Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 11 game against the New Orleans Saints Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
Marshall said that while he was patient during his time on Philadelphia's practice squad, he desired the opportunity to be on an active roster once again. He kept his head up and bided his time until the Redskins signed him.
"Everybody wants to play, especially when you feel like you can and you should," Marshall said. "But, like I said, the more negative you are, the more negative everything's going to be. So, I really just stay positive, stay happy in my own little bubble, do what I know how to do and just go out to practice, worry about getting better."
Marshall's signing comes at a time of need for the Redskins after Washington placed starting running back Rob Kelley on Injured Reserve after the Tulane product re-aggravated a high ankle sprain while also suffering an MCL sprain last Sunday.
Kelley's departure also comes on the heels of Washington's continued struggles on the ground, as the Redskins have gained just 350 rushing yards on 116 carries over the last five games.
While rookie Samaje Perine will be promoted to the lead role and Chris Thompson has his niche as the third-down back, Marshall could still find his way into the lineup.
While he's appeared in just three regular season games in his career, Marshall was a productive dual-threat for the University of Oregon.
In 42 games with the Ducks, the 5-foot-9, 201 pounder recorded more than 3,000 scrimmages yards, as he rushed for 1,877 yards along with tallying 1,293 receiving yards.
He also recorded 27 total touchdowns while becoming the first player in Pac-12 history to record 1,000-plus career rushing yards and 1,000-plus career receiving yards.
In 2013, Marshall recorded 1,038 rushing yards before collecting 1,003 receiving yards on 74 catches the next season.
"Our scouts did a good job on him and sent the tape to [running backs coach] Randy [Jordan] and made the decision that he was our top guy," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "He does a little bit of everything. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, he's thick, he's 215, 220 pounds. He played running back in college, played receiver in college, did some good things on tape in Philadelphia in the preseason, so that's the guy we went with."
Marshall's first practice with his new teammates came just four days before the Redskins (4-5) face the New Orleans Saints (7-2) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
It's a challenge learning a new playbook so quickly, but Marshall understands it needs to be "picked up ASAP."
"Really it's a similar offense, just different terminology," Marshall said. "Football is football. So, at the end of the day, just rely on that. Just go home and study, study while I'm here, ask questions when I need answers and that's pretty much it."
"The more reps I get, the more comfortable I'm going to feel and the more I'm going to get it right," Marshall added. "So, like I said, just do that and watch all the tape and study as much as possible."