- Ryan Torain has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, but hopes to return Sunday against Tampa Bay. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said today that running back Ryan Torain practiced without limitation and reported no problems with his left hamstring. It was the first time in six weeks that Torain had been able to do so.
Torain strained the muscle late in the first half of Washington’s game at Detroit on Oct. 31. The team had a bye the following week, and then he tried return on Nov. 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles, but re-aggravated the injury during pre-game warmups. He has been sidelined ever since.
The second-year back is hopeful that he could play on Sunday when the Redskins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Redskins’ running game has dropped off significantly with Torain sidelined. In six games (four starts), Torain has rushed for 391 yards and three touchdowns on 91 carries. Torain had back-to-back 100-yard games in Weeks 4 and 5 before getting hurt the following week.
In the four games since then, Washington hasn’t had a back rush for more than 89 yards in a game, and as a team has averaged just 78.8 yards an outing.
Eager to get back to work, Torain admitted the last six weeks have been trying, but believes he made the proper outlook needed to rebound.
“I've just got to stay positive, stay working with the team,” he said. “I stayed around the team the weeks I was hurt, and just stayed focused and kept my head in the game.”
Torain was well on his way to proving himself as a feature back, but then got hurt.
An inability to avoid injury has been the one knock against Torain in his NFL career.
Shanahan drafted him in Denver out of Arizona State in 2008, but he was limited by injury to just two games. He missed the entire 2009 season with a torn ACL suffered in training camp, and has now missed four of the 10 games that he has been on the active roster.
With Clinton Portis’ future in Washington very much in doubt, Torain could make a strong case for consideration. But he’ll need a strong finish in the final four games of the season to improve his chances.
“You’ve got to go out there and perform well,” Torain said. “You’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to love the game.”
Not practicing for the Redskins today were cornerback Carlos Rogers (hamstring) and strong safety LaRon Landry (Achilles’ tendon). Both players are making progress, however, Shanahan said. The coach reported that Rogers and Landry took part in the team’s walk-through this morning, which they haven’t previously while nursing their injuries. But they didn’t do any actual running.
Limited in practice were kick/punt returner Brandon Banks (knee) and starting free safety Kareem Moore (ankle/biceps).