LANDOVER, Md. (CBSDC) — Perhaps nobody is more surprised that Alfred Morris is the Washington Redskins starting running back than the player, himself.
A sixth-round pick(No. 173 overall) out of Florida Atlantic, Morris was expected to have to fight just to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, let alone sit atop the depth chart. Yet, he came out of the gate swinging and did just that.
Injuries to the incumbent corps of backs certainly aided his cause, but he also capitalized on his opportunities.
Tim Hightower wasn’t full recovered from surgery to repair a torn left knee ligament suffered last season.
Roy Helu was sidelined for much of the preseason with two sore Achilles, while Evan Royster missed a bit of time due to soreness in his right knee.
He was named the starter for the season opener in New Orleans and rewarded the coaching staff with a 28-carry, 96-yard performance that featured a pair of touchdowns.
For an encore, he rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries in St. Louis — good for a 5.6 yards per carry average.
“I definitely didn’t expect to even be the starter this early in the season,” Morris said this week on 4th & Pain, a show co-hosted by teammate Adam Carriker. “I’ve been the underdog my whole life and a lot of people, nothing was ever given to me and I had to earn it. And so, I go out there and demand my respect on the other players.”
Carriker jokes that Morris runs like he has something wrong with him, but the 23-year-old says it’s just a refusal to be tackled.
He said Walter Peyton served as an inspiration growing up, which is part of where he draws his style from.