When former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander signed with Washington last week, he essentially signed on for a tryout.
Alexander knows that once Redskins running back Ladell Betts returns from the knee injury that is expected to sideline him two to four weeks, his roster spot in Washington is in jeopardy.
But it is a better opportunity than none, which is why Alexander agreed to the one-year deal with Washington. He believes he can come in, impress Redskins coaches and make it so they will not release him when they face a roster decision in a few weeks.
Alexander was said to pick up the Redskins passing offense quicker than its rushing offense last week. But Washington still plans to put him to work right away, with Alexander being inserted into the role that Betts normally plays.
He can realistically expect anywhere from five-to-10 carries Sunday against the Browns. He can expect to be called on as a receiver out of the backfield. And the more Alexander impresses, the more he will be called on.
But in a way, this is like the preseason for Alexander. He is fighting for a job.