As an undrafted free agent competing in a backfield full of established players and draft picks, Silas Redd entered training camp as a long shot to make the Redskins’ 53-man roster.
That perception, however, changed rather quickly.
Redd ended up leading the team in rushing with 157 yards on 34 carries (4.6 yards per) in the preseason. He also hauled in three passes for 26 yards.
Those numbers—and his ability to help on special teams—gave him the edge over Chris Thompson, Evan Royster and Lache Seastrunk. Thompson was bumped down to the practice squad; Royster and Seastrunk were cut loose.
The depth chart now features Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr. and Redd.
“We felt like we went with the three running backs who did the best, and we only picked three for a number of reasons,” Coach Jay Gruden said. “Silas is all-around, running and blocking and catching. His consistency was pretty good for a rookie.”
Redd knew he had performed well in the four preseason games. But that didn’t help him get to sleep Thursday night after the exhibition finale in Tampa.
“Anxiety was definitely at an all-time high,” he said. “I was just trying to stay positive. It was a high intensity time.”
He added: “It was a little surreal. I worked really hard for it, coming in here as the sixth running back and not really having a chance. It’s a testament to my hard work and how I was brought up. I couldn’t be happier.”
As a large crowd of reporters gathered around Redd on Monday afternoon, defensive end Chris Baker walked past and yelled, “Ooooh, look at Silas. Boy you’re a superstar. …He got that monnnneeeey!”
Redd apologized for Baker’s outburst and then started to laugh.
“I just came in for work [Saturday] and made it to the locker room,” he said, explaining how he found out that he survived the cut. “I didn’t get stopped. So I kinda had a sense of what was going on. So I went to talk to Coach Gruden and thanked him."
Redd said he’s not sure how much he’ll get used as a backup to Morris and Helu. That said, he’s just happy to have the opportunity.
“Whatever they need me to do,” he said. “I’m just trying to be that utility back. I just want to get better at my craft every day, all phases of the game and whenever they need me they can call my number.”
Redd’s next challenge? Proving to Gruden that he didn’t make a mistake.
“I’m just happy that I found a place, and I’m so grateful that the Redskins picked me up,” Redd said. “I plan to leave it all out there for them.”