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Tim Hightower has all but locked up the Redskins‘ starting running back position with one preseason game remaining.

“I’m not going to say he’s our starter, but if you were betting in Vegas, you’d probably bet in that direction,” Mike Shanahan said.

Ryan Torain entered camp at the top of the depth chart, but Hightower has run away with the job while Torain has nursed his broken left hand. Hightower has averaged 6.8 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns in three games.

The Redskins acquired him in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals on July 31. Washington gave up defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday and a late-round 2012 draft pick, a bargain price if Hightower sustains this level of production.

Torain is expected to make his preseason debut on Thursday against Tampa Bay. Rookie sixth-round pick Evan Royster is also expected to play a significant amount, Shanahan said.


Return specialist Brandon Banks (left knee) is expected to practice on Sunday after sitting out Saturday.

“Hopefully when he tests that knee it doesn’t swell up again,” Shanahan said. “He looks like he’s a go for this game against Tampa.” …

Strong safety LaRon Landry (hamstring) did not practice, and his status remains day-to-day. Shanahan hopes he can play against Tampa Bay, but he said playing that game isn’t a requirement for Landry playing Week 1 against the Giants. …

Receiver Malcolm Kelly (right foot) did not practice. Rookie left guard Maurice Hurt (sore knee) sat out practice. He is expected to return Monday. Linebacker Edgar Jones (concussion) is expected to return to practice Sunday or Monday. …

Defensive end Adam Carriker (severe blisters), linebacker London Fletcher (hamstring) and cornerback Josh Wilson (hamstring) practiced. …

Free safety Kareem Moore (right knee) seems destined to remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list through the start of the season, meaning he would be ineligible to play the first six games.

“Until he’s close to 100 percent, I don’t want to put him in that situation or else I think we’ll go back to what happened last year,” Shanahan said.

aMoore injured his knee during the 2010 preseason, had surgery and never was fully healthy. He had to have a second surgery during the offseason.