Tim Hightower, the Washington Redskins' starting running back for a portion of the 2011 season, was among 22 roster cuts the team made Friday to pare down to the mandatory 53-man limit.
Hightower rushed for 321 yards and a touchdown while adding 10 receptions for 78 yards and a score for Washington last season before sustaining a torn ACL in a loss at Carolina on Oct. 23 that forced him to injured reserve. The fifth-year pro was re-signed to a one-year contract in May and was presumed to be the favorite to be the club's primary ball-carrier.
The 26-year-old came to Washington in a trade with Arizona prior to the 2011 campaign after rushing for a career-high 736 yards along with five touchdowns for the Cardinals the previous year. In 2009, Hightower compiled 63 receptions along with 598 rushing yards and eight touchdowns with Arizona.
Hightower's release leaves second-year pros Roy Helu and Evan Royster and rookie Alfred Morris as the team's top options at running back at the moment.
Washington also cut loose three other veterans in cornerback David Jones, linebacker Bryan Kehl and defensive lineman Darrion Scott, while defensive end Kentwan Balmer was placed on the reserve/left squad list after leaving camp earlier in the summer.
In addition, the team announced Friday that safety Tanard Jackson would be suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
The Redskins also waived wide receivers Anthony Armstrong and Terrence Austin, defensive back Travon Bellamy, offensive tackles Tom Compton and Willie Smith, centers Erik Cook and Grant Garner, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, nose tackles Marlon Favorite and Delvin Johnson, linebackers Donnell Holt and Markus White, tight end Richard Quinn, cornerback Brandyn Thompson and defensive end Doug Worthington. Fullback Dorson Boyce and running back Tristan Davis were both waived/injured, while linebacker Brian McNally was waived with an injury settlement.