A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 4.
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan drafted running back Ryan Torain from Arizona State in 2008 and he was quite familiar with the player's injury history. Because of that knowledge, Shanahan gambled that he could hide Torain on the practice squad to start this season.
When the running back was promoted to the 53-man roster in Week 3, he made an immediate impact against the St. Louis Rams with seven carries for 46 yards. On Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Torain set the tone for an upset win by bowling over safety Quintin Mikell on his way to a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter. This was an offense searching for an identity and Torain's 18 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown provided that in a huge game.
"I guarantee he will not be put on the practice squad the rest of this season," Shanahan said after Sunday's game.
Torain ran with power and speed. He may end up saving Shanahan, because the coach made the curious decision to sign veterans Larry Johnson and Willie Parker -- both since cut -- this past offseason. If Clinton Portis continues to have injury issues, there's a good chance Torain will become the feature back for the Redskins.
On Sunday, it was his punishing style that helped stake Washington to a 17-6 halftime lead. And that's why he edges out NFC East stalwarts Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Albert Haynesworth and Lorenzo Alexander for this week's award.