Evan Royster missed the Redskins third exhibition game because of swelling in his right knee. A week later, he was pulled in the first half of the teams preseason finale after experiencing numbness in his arms.
On Monday, however, Royster participated fully in practice and said he hopes to be tapped by Coach Mike Shanahan as the starting tailback for the regular season opener in New Orleans five days from now.
Royster is listed ahead of Roy Helu Jr. and Alfred Morris on the teams unofficial depth chart.
Everything is good, Royster said of the ailments. They dont even make me go in the training room anymore. Everything is cleared up.
Royster described the neck injury as scary but ultimately minor in nature.
It was a little weird, he said. I was pass-blocking and somebody jumped and landed on top of my head. I felt numbness and tingling go down both my arms. The Redskins training staff told me, Youre done. Dont even risk it.
Nothing ever came of it, he added. Im fine.
Now, he just hopes his number his new one, that is gets called when the starters are announced Sunday at the Superdome. Royster ditched No. 35 for No. 22, the jersey number he wore at Penn State. (No. 22 was vacated by cornerback Kevin Barnes when he was traded to Detroit last week.)
I just didnt like 35, the 24-year-old Fairfax native explained. I told them if a number in the 20s opens up, pencil me in. It just so happens this is the number I wore in college.
Royster said Shanahan hasnt told the running backs which of them will get the nod against the Saints.
Sunday, Royter chuckled when asked when he expects to find out. I have no idea. Its hard to tell. Im just practicing like Im going to start.