The Washington Redskins reached outside the Practice Squad to fill injury-induced holes on the roster. The Redskins signed TE Dominique Byrd and center/guard Jonathan Compas to contracts with the team. Along with the earlier addition of OL Maurice Hurt to the roster, Byrd and Compas fill slots vacated when the team placed G Kory Lichtensteiger, Tim Hightower and Chris Cooley on Injured Reserve.
I expected the Redskins to promote RB Evan Royster to the active roster from the practice squad. Washington fooled me by signing RB Tristan Davis to the practice squad instead. The Davis signing was particularly bad news for G John Malecki who was released from the practice squad to make room for Davis.
The Redskins invited Malecki to the practice squad six days ago. "Football is a rough game and often a cruel one." ~ NFL Films.
It is no easier for Davis who could fill a travelogue of his NFL tour. He spent time on the Dolphins' and Lions' practice squads and part of the 2010 season on the Vikings' roster. The Pittsburg Steelers signed Davis to their practice squad on October 5, 2011 (yup, that's this month) where his major role was to emulate Chris Johnson before the October 9 game against the Tennessee Titans, won by the Steelers 38-17.
The Redskins must have been impressed. They face hard-running Fred Jackson and the Buffalo Bills Sunday. Davis must have some of that magic pixie dust to sprinkle on the defense so they can do what no one else has done—Stop Fred Jackson. That gypsy life must be hard on players like Davis and Malecki.
Can Royster not catch a break? What is Mike Shanahan thinking? Coach Shanahan won't return my calls. That's poetic license, of course. I know Shanahan would not return my call if I tried, so why not say so without trying. I don't have the fortitude of NFL practice squad travelers to take rejection. But, I digress....
Shanahan is happy to keep Royster squirreled away. A few good plays by Royster on video and he might not clear waivers a second time should the Redskins add him to the roster now, then send him back to the practice squad.
In a pinch, FB Darrel Young or FB/TE Mike Sellers could play tailback. (UPDATE: 106.7 The Fan radio reports that Sellers suffered some sort of back injury in the Redskins' weight room this afternoon. He has been taken to the hospital.)
Hightower's injury, unfortunate for him, is a boon for fantasy footballers because it clarifies Washington's running back picture. Fantasy players need predictability and Ryan Torain is the man. I expect Roy Helu to explode at some point late this season. I am a recovering fantasy player, so don't go solely on my thought.