With cuts looming, what will Redskins do in the backfield?
Eric Kettani was released on Monday. That he was released was no great surprise; he was considered to be a long shot to make the roster. But the timing is something of a surprise.
The Redskins’ are playing the Bucs in their fourth preseason game, a contest that could be called the Backup Bowl. The starters, and many key reserves, will not even dress up as reserves, players on the roster bubble, and many who have no chance of making the team, will play the game.
The puzzling thing is that Kettani was one of two fullbacks on the roster. The only one left now is starter Darrell Young. He wasn’t necessarily planning on playing Thursday but . . .
“As of right now, I'll be the fullback,” he said.
Or maybe not. Perhaps a tailback who is fighting for a roster spot will try to show some versatility and line up there.
“He's [Mike Shanahan] made running back fullbacks sometimes,” said Yong. “We game plan for everything in the running back room. Evan Royster might play fullback, you never know . . . He pass blocks the same guy, why can't he block him in the running game?”
Keiland Williams, who could be in a battle with Royster for the last running back job, is one of those tailbacks who has pulled fullback duty under Shanahan. In 2010, Williams filled in at fullback occasionally as a fullback after making the team as an undrafted rookie.
Tight end Niles Paul has played some fullback this preseason and during the regular season last year.
“I played it the first [preseason] game because Kettani was hurt and last year when DY [Young] went down,” said Paul.
“It's the same as tight end . . . It's not different at all. There's different plays but if you know the playbook, and as a tight end you're supposed to know the whole playbook, it's not that bad.”
Kyle Shanahan confirmed that Paul will play some fullback against the Bucs.
Young is likely to be the only fullback the Redskins will carry on their roster so it is a good idea to get some Plan B options a little action there. They only use a fullback on about 30 percent of their snaps but when you need one, you need one.