In 2010, Ryan Torain was the Redskins leading rusher, gaining more yards on the ground than the rest of the team combined. But after fracturing his hand early in training camp this year, he has been almost forgotten in the running back competition.
"It's tough being on the sidelines, but I'm excited to get out there and play," he said. "The team looks great and we've got a lot of team camaraderie, so we're just focused."
Torain is expected to return to action in the Redskins' preseason finale vs. Tampa Bay on Sept. 1, according to Mike Shanahan.
For now, Torain is working in individual drills during practice.
"I'm doing what the coaches ask me to do: taking hand-offs, catching the ball, and working with the trainers," he said. "I've been staying in shape, and getting back to the contact-level, that won't take long at all."
With Torain sidelined, Tim Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster have seen increased reps at running back. They each are making a strong push for the Redskins' starting job, as well as playing time.
When healthy, Torain won't back down from the competition.
"Competition makes us great," he said. "We're all going to push one another to get better and we've just got to stay together as a team. I am excited just because it makes us all better."
As a constant presence at practice, Torain has had a chance to assess the strengths of his team's offense.
"The offensive line looks great, and I feel like they're jelling well together," he said. "It's a positive year and I'm excited for it."