Earlier this week, the Washington Redskins - this week's opponent for the Buffalo Bills - placed veteran running back Tim Hightower on Injured Reserve, bringing his first season in D.C. to an end. Acquired via trade from Arizona during the abbreviated off-season, Hightower had carried 84 times for 321 yards and a touchdown through the Redskins' first six games.
Mike Shanahan's offense has long been renowned for its ability to get production out of obscure tailbacks. It's not precisely clear yet how runners Ryan Torain and rookie Roy Helu will split carries now that Hightower is out of the lineup; it's expected that both players will produce, however.
Both players have had their moments. Torain carried 19 times for 135 yards and a score in a Week 4 win over St. Louis, while Helu - who has only carried three times in the last two weeks - rushed for 74 yards on 10 carries in Week 2.
Buffalo enters Week 8 with the NFL's 30th-ranked run defense, and they're coming off a game in which they allowed Ahmad Bradshaw to run for 104 yards and three scores. Needless to say, the Bills have work to do against the run, regardless of who's toting the rock for the Redskins this week.