Despite not being able to finish out his first preseason with the Redskins after a season-ending elbow injury, Keith Marshall is in good shape and ready to grab a roster spot.
With both Matt Jones and Chris Thompson sidelines for the Washington Redskins' preseason Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills last August, rookie Keith Marshall had an opportunity to impress the coaching staff with an increased workload.
The third preseason game, of course, is when the starters spend the most time on the field during the preseason slate. So if Marshall was going to break out against Buffalo's defense and look comfortable running behind Washington's offensive line, it would show he's ready to bring his lethal speed to the active roster.
But on his first carry of the game, Marshall went down with a season-ending elbow injury.
"It was frustrating, not so much because of my history but I feel like that was a game where coach was giving us opportunities to go out there and prove ourselves," Marshall told Redskins.com. "I think I was playing with the ones at that point, so it was a good opportunity to showcase myself but I got hurt."
While Marshall would remain sidelined for his entire rookie season, the University of Georgia product attacked his rehab with the hope of potentially being take off Injured Reserve. Veteran center Kory Lichtensteiger was ultimately the Redskins player selected to return from Injured Reserve, but Marshall continued to get his body ready for a second NFL season.
"It was unfortunate, it is not what you dream of, but at the same time it is what it is and I kind of have to deal with it the best way possible," Marshall said. "I definitely feel better because I got the whole year off on IR to heal up and take care of my body. Going from college football to the training process for the Combine last year, you really don't get a break but I had a little break this year. I feel good, I feel healthy, ready to go and feel like I am in good shape."
Marshall has been at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., for Phase 1 workouts. Paired with the team's other running backs – Robert Kelley, Mack Brown, Jones and Thompson – Marshall understands that he'll have to compete with them on a daily basis to make the active roster this fall.
With the 242nd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected running back Keith Marshall of Georgia. Take a look at his collegiate career in photos.
For now, though, Marshall is concentrated on self-improvement. The time will come soon to showcase his blazing speed and burst against his teammates.
"I don't focus on that type of stuff, but I want to focus on me and try to get in the best position to go out there and compete to prove what I can do," Marshall said. "Being a forgotten man is not really part of my ego."
When he gets back on the field during the latter stages of the Offseason Program, Marshall hopes an offseason of eating healthy and gaining more flexibility in his hips.
Marshall was the fastest running back at the 2016 NFL Combine – running the 40-yard dash in 4.31 seconds – and put up the most bench press reps among players at the position.
But the 23-year-old admittedly didn't always have the best nutrition plan. Now in the NFL, though, that's a different story.
"I'm just trying to be professional and start eating healthy and watching portions, eating lean meat, right carbs and all that stuff," Marshall said. "and just trying to get the whole meal and diet thing down."