2 Minute Drill: Redskins vs. Bears preview
After missing most of the 2012 season with an Achilles injury, Roy Helu has proved his worth to the Redskins through six weeks of the 2013.
Coming off strong back to back performances, Helu looks fully recovered from the injury. More so, he looks like a perfect complement to starting running back Alfred Morris, especially as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
"It’s been good," Helu said of his return to football. "I always see something to improve on, I just want to get better no matter what type of role I have, be sharp on everything."
Last week in the 31-16 loss to Dallas, Helu ran six times for 42 yards and caught four passes for 35 yards. In a Week 4 win over Oakland, Helu took over for an injured Morris, accounting for more than 80 total yards and a touchdown.
Missing last season also gives Helu a different perspective.
"There’s going to be some days during the year where you may not feel the best, but there's always that truth looking back on last year when I wasn’t here and didn’t have the opportunity to practice," Helu said. Now, during practice Helu looks to "take advantage of the little things I took for granted before."
It shows. Teammates appreciate the hard work Helu has put in to return to form after suffering such a devastating injury.
"That year off, it sucks but it definitely helped him see the game a little different, he appreciates stuff more," Skins fullback Darrel Young said of Helu. "He's always battled through injuries but I know he'll battle through them a little more now because he knows what it's like to miss that year."
While Helu sat with the injury, Morris surged to stardom.
In 2011, Helu's rookie year, the running back took control of the starting job with a late surge that included three straight 100-yard games late in the year. But in 2012, Helu got hurt, and in his rookie season, Morris went on to rush for more than 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Though the roles have changed, Helu is happy with his place in the offense. While focused on improving everything from route running to pass protection, Helu said he knows his job and is comfortable with his role in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's offense.
"Two years ago he was the star running back and now he's playing a different role. He can accept that and still be at the top of his game and I respect Roy so much," Young said. "I love Roy, I love him to death, I'd block for him any day of the week."