Redskins' Choice 'rolling,' but not until next week

Redskins' Choice 'rolling,' but not until next week
November 2, 2011, 5:12 pm
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UPDATED 6:16 p.m.

Four days after being cut for the first time in his NFL career, running back Tashard Choice wouldnt have been faulted for feeling stung.

But during his third day with the Redskins, Choice portrayed the opposite attitude.

Im rolling, he said Wednesday morning at Redskin Park. Ive got a lot to prove. Im glad Coach Mike Shanahan gave me an opportunity to come here. Im going to make plays for this offense.

Just not yet.

Choice injured his hamstring less than two weeks ago and will not make his Redskins debut Sunday against San Francisco. Shanahan anticipates Choice practicing next week.

If healthy, Choice will provide more depth and competition at the position currently occupied by Ryan Torain and Roy Helu.

Were getting a very versatile guy, said Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen, who was Choices teammate in Dallas. A lot of guys in Dallas probably wouldnt say it but we thought he was the best guy but never got a fair shot.

So what happened?

Choice rushed 250 times for 1,139 yards and eight touchdowns, but only had 28 rushes for 75 yards (no scores) this year as he fell behind Felix Jones and rookie DeMarco Murray. Choice actually started the St. Louis game two weeks ago but dinged his shoulder early on and then injured his hamstring last Thursday in practice.

It hurts your production when its 2-3 carries a game or four carries a game, playing different spurts in the game, he said.

Choice, who had an infamous fumble in last years opener against the Redskins that was returned for a touchdown by DeAngelo Hall, had only eight games (out of 45) when he received double-digit carries and has only one 100-yard effort on his resume.

But with his rookie deal expiring after this year, there is little risk from the Redskins standpoint.

The Redskins rank 26th in rushing yards per game (95.3) and 24th in rushing yards per play (3.88).

Obviously, we needed some depth at the backfield position and weve watched him through the years, Shanahan said. We think he has a chance to come in and help us once he learns the offense and gets over his hamstring injury. Well wait a week or two to see how he is.

Said Choice: Ill be playing soon. Im not about to sit and watch. You cant do anything from the sideline.

Choice said he was a little surprised, by the Cowboys decision to waive him.

But thats the nature of the business and thats what you go through as an NFL player, he said. Thats why you always expect the unexpected.

Once he was claimed by the Redskins, Choice flew to northern Virginia Monday night and spent all of Tuesday meeting with running backs coach Bobby Turner to get a crash course in the playbook.

Yesterday was a storm, he said. Today is calm. Its going to get better day in and day out.

And when his hamstring gets better, Choice is looking forward to the Redskins. Nov. 20 game at home against Dallas and agreed moving on could be a good thing.

Absolutely, he said. God doesnt make mistakes. Im here for a reason and Im going to take advantage of it. Lot of, lot of, lot of, lot of motivation for me. I cant tell you how motivated I am to be here and play.

Choice already has a fan in Bowen.

He can do it all, Bowen said. Hes a great vision runner, can catch out of the backfield and is good in pass protection. He brings a little edge to us. I cant wait to see what he can do.

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