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Redskins Rotating At Running Back For Now


Head coach Mike Shanahan expects to rotate his running backs this week as the Redskins try to find the right combination in the struggling ground game.

In Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Redskins totaled just 29 yards on 13 attempts, an average of 2.2 yards per carry.

Keiland Williams had just three rushes for five yards and caught four passes for 21 yards. James Davis had six carries for 11 yards.

Ryan Torain, the Redskins' leading rusher this season, was deactivated for the second consecutive game due to a hamstring injury.

"We'll do some rotations and a lot depends on Ryan Torain and whether he's ready to go," Shanahan said. "So we've got some questions right now."

Torain continues to rehab the hamstring but he's not running at full speed yet.

"Until we actually go full speed, it's too early to tell," Shanahan said. "He has been getting a lot of treatment. Hopefully he's better. He's definitely not full speed yet."

Shanahan said that coaches wanted to get more of a look at Davis, who made his Redskins debut after spending three weeks on the team's practice squad.

He said he believes the offense can be effective with the running backs on the roster.

The Redskins only had 54 plays in the entire game and had to turn to the passing game down 17-7 in the fourth quarter. The offense ran the ball just twice in the second half and the final 14 plays in the game were passing plays.

Some of the Redskins' struggles have to be attributed to the Vikings' defensive line, which has been one of the best run-stuffing units in the league the last few years. They were ranked sixth in the NFL in that category heading into Sunday's game.

The Redskins don't get a break with next week's opponent, the New York Giants. They boast a solid veteran defensive line as well.

Quarterback Donovan McNabb said improvement in the run game has to be a focus as the Redskins prepare for the game against the Giants

"We pretty much have to pay more attention to it," McNabb said. "I think what it does is it kind of keeps the defense back on their heels because if they decide to bring pressure and we do run, there are going to be big running lanes."

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