|Torain was buried on the depth chart and Washington decided to move on without him. (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
Ryan Torain started just four games for the Redskins this season and averaged 3.4 yards a carry. And on Tuesday, the team released him, according to ESPN 980's Chris Russell.
Torain struggled with injuries and competition in Washington; rookie Roy Helu emerged as a legitimate NFL starter (147 carries, 635 yards in 14 games) after Tim Hightower went down with a season-ending knee injury in October, and Evan Royster was impressive against the Vikings last Saturday (19 carries, 132 yards).
Torain took the news about like you'd expect.
"It's a business," he said according to Redskins beat reporter Grant Paulsen. "This is how it goes. It's ugly."
Torain was originally a fifth-round pick of the Broncos in the 2008 draft, and arrived in Washington prior to the 2010 season. In Week 4, Torain had his best game as a member of the Redskins, rushing for 135 yards on 19 carries against the Rams.
“It was a very emotional game for me just wanting to get out there and play,” he said at the time. “I just wanted to give it my all.”
Head coach Mike Shanahan added: “He looked like he was [playing] at a different level. Like he was possessed, breaking tackles and making plays.”
On Monday, Shanahan noted that the Redskins had plenty of depth at running back, praising Royster's effort against the Vikings. But he also seemed confused by Torain's struggles. Which explains why, a day later, the team decided to move on without him.
Washington heads into the offseason with plenty of questions but Shanahan sees reason for optimism as he concludes his second season as the 'Skins' head coach.
“Oh yeah, [progress has taken] a lot longer than I first anticipated,” he said. “We had less depth than I thought. We were a little bit older at a few different positions and I thought we might keep those players a little bit longer than we did.”
But Shanahan added that he sees a big difference in this team when compared to two years ago, with improved youth and depth among the biggest changes. Next up: a solid free agency and draft. (And who knows, maybe this guy is in Washington's future.)
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