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Royster changes number, hopes to start Sunday

Royster changes number, hopes to start Sunday

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.

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Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.

Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.

Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]

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Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins had a couple of chances to stop what would eventually turn into the Cardinals’ game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. The first one came when they went for it on fourth and one at their own 34. It was a gutsy call by Arizona coach Bruce Arians and David Johnson make him look smart by popping off a 14-yard run.

The Cards earned that one. But it looked as though they got something of a gift a few plays later when Josh Norman was flagged holding receiver Larry Fitzgerald. It was a borderline call, granting Arizona a gift third and five conversion. Two plays later Carson Palmer went in for the kill, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.

On the field, Norman seemed to be none too pleased with the penalty flag. He said after the game that he thinks that Fitzgerald may have stolen a flag.

“He [Fitzgerald] was within five yards. Larry is a wily vet,” said Norman. “I'd been doing it all game, kind of . . . He breaks out and I go for the ball and the flag got thrown. We'd like to see that not happen in that situation because there was some good position, some good leverage. And a flag came out.

“It is what it is. You can't blame a call on that, blame a call on this. It's whatever, man.”

Norman is right. The Redskins blew plenty of chances to take control of the game and the blame can be spread around on both sides of the ball. But the flag will loom large as the Redskins try to shake off this loss and get ready for the Eagles next week.

[MORE: ANGRY JAY GRUDEN SAYS REDSKINS 'NOT EVEN CLOSE' TO THINKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS]