The Washington Redskins made a surprising decision Sunday as they announced rookie running back Roy Helu would be starting against the strong 49ers defense. Helu got off to a solid start rushing but slowed down late. The real story of the day for Helu, however, was the fact that he broke Art Monk's franchise receptions record as he hauled in 14 receptions for 105 yards on the day.
Helu made some sizable gains, but he was also the beneficiary of the Redskins checking down quite frequently against the 49ers. John Beck struggled to get much of anything going and Roy Helu benefited in the stats sheet. The Redskins crowd grew tired of the checkdowns and began booing in the second half. Helu finished the day with 146 total yards.
The question now is what will happen with the Redskins running back situation. Ryan Torain was essentially benched in the game and Mike Shanahan said after the game that Torain would only play when Helu gets tired. That would seem to indicate Helu has the starting job, but in the world of Mike Shanahan things are never that clear. For now Helu is the man, but don't be surprised to see changes come out of the blue.