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Shanahan: Releasing Hightower "a tough decision"

Shanahan: Releasing Hightower "a tough decision"

A day after cutting Tim Hightower, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said the decision was a difficult one and that the veteran running back could return at a later date if hes healthy.Hightower was attempting to return from 10-month layoff due to ACL surgery on his left knee. But the 26-year-old appeared in only one preseason game, racking up 28 yards on five carries against the Colts. After that game, Hightower was sore and did not suit up for the preseason finale against the Buccaneers.A guy like Tim, I think the world of, Shanahan said Saturday. He might be back sometime this year. But you have cut down. You have make the decision thats best for your football team and we went three running backs and a fullback. But it was a tough decision.With Hightower gone, the tailback duties will fall to second year players Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. and rookie Alfred Morris.Pressed on whether Hightower could return to Washington, Shanahan said, He could come back here. I thought when he did play, he played well. That one run he had off the left side against the Colts, that was pretty impressive.For Hightower to return, however, another Redskins running back probably would have to get hurt and, of course, Hightower would have to return to full health. It was apparent this week that Hightower still had some progress to make.He was a little sore, Shanahan said when asked if Hightower had suffered a setback against Indianapolis.Asked if Hightowers release was because of his knee or the emergence of Morris and the other two running backs, Shanahan said: Youve got to take the top 53 guys. And when you put all the factors together, youve got to way, Hey, whats best for us this year? And thats what we thought was best for us.

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Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

New Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is looking to pattern his game after two All-Pro linemen. 

"I'm a very versatile player and can do anything. I love watching Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald," Washington’s first-round draft pick told reporters on a conference call.

The Redskins will be very happy if Allen can be as productive as Atkins and Donald. Atkins has played for the Bengals since the 2010 season. He has been durable, playing in 16 games in six of his seven seasons, and effective, producing 52 sacks, a good total for a defensive tackle. 

MORE REDSKINS: A COMPLETE RECAP OF ROUND 1

Donald was a first-round pick of the Rams in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, recording a total of 28 sacks in his three seasons. 

Both players combine outstanding physical talent and high motors. Allen has selected two pretty good role models to follow. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN

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Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Jonathan Allen was the perfect pick for the Redskins, filling a need with a player who clearly was the best on the board.

Allen’s slide from a top-five prospect to the middle of the first round is believed to be because of issues with both of his shoulders. During his time at Alabama he suffered labral tears in both of his shoulders that were surgically repaired and he also suffers from mild arthritis in both of them. That apparently scared some teams off but not the Redskins.

“We didn't have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Then why did a top talent slide all the way back to the Redskins’ pick?

“As far as him falling to us, their were a lot of things that happened in the draft, three quarterbacks went, a couple of receivers went pretty high, a lot of offensive players went that probably not a lot of people expected,” said Gruden. “So, some of these very good defensive players fell to us and we're happy.”

Allen told reporters that the shoulders did not cause him any problems while he was playing.

“I didn’t even wear a brace for the [2016] season,” Allen said. “So, I mean, it doesn’t even affect me. Every team I talked to, shoulders were medically cleared, no problems. Probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years, to be honest.”

Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain’s assessment of Allen’s shoulders align with those of the player and Gruden.

"He's played without any problems," Cain told NFL Media last month. "This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It's just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college."

We will see how this plays out. It’s possible that his injury problems could limit his effectiveness or cut his career short. But clearly the Redskins saw that the Allen’s talent made the injury risk a worthwhile gamble.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.