Running backs Silas Redd and Lache Seastrunk proved their value in Washington’s 24-10 preseason finale win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on Aug. 28.
Head coach Jay Gruden decided to rest his starters in the last game before the regular season, giving the backups a final chance to battle for a spot on the roster.
Washington’s defense came out strong in the first half. Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Kafka was sacked four times, twice by defensive end Clifton Geathers and once by Frank Kearse. Washington held Tampa Bay to only 65 passing yards in the game.
Kafka was knocked down again late in the first quarter, this time by second-year linebacker Gabe Miller, who recovered the fumble and plowed his way to Tampa Bay’s 2-yard line. Washington’s third-string quarterback Colt McCoy followed up with a short touchdown pass to wide receiver Ryan Grant.
Seastrunk had the play of the game midway through the third quarter, when the running back put his lightning speed on display and dodged four tackles for an 80-yard, catch-and-run touchdown on a screen play. It was the highlight of a stellar performance from Seastrunk, who finished the game with two receptions for 88 yards and six carries for 23 yards.
Kafka connected with wide receiver Solomon Patton for a 25-yard touchdown pass to bring the Buccaneers within seven points heading into the fourth quarter. However, after an eight-play, 78-yard drive, Silas Redd pushed across the goal line to seal the deal with a touchdown. Redd finished with 14 carries for 79 yards.
Redd and Seastrunk lead the pack in the race to be Washington’s backup running back, followed by Chris Thompson—who missed the previous two games with a sprained ankle—and veteran Evan Royster. Redd consistently gained yards after contact, while Seastrunk has undeniable speed.
McCoy had a solid night, finishing 22-for-29 for 321 yards. He was on point for most of the game, with the exception of two glaring interceptions in the end zone in the second quarter.
Coach Gruden will have until Aug. 30 to trim Washington’s roster down to 53 players. The team will travel to play the Houston Texans in Week 1 of the regular season on Sept. 7.