Hightower, who turns 26 on May 23, has a strong chance to begin 2012 as the starter despite coming off a torn ACL in his left knee. He was injured while cutting back on a second-half run against the Carolina Panthers last Oct. 23. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry and scored one touchdown in six games.
Redskins coaches believe him to be a strong fit for the outside zone scheme because of his speed, vision and ability to square his shoulders to the line of scrimmage and burst up field.
Washington acquired Hightower in a trade with Arizona last July, and coach Mike Shanahan in late March expressed his intent to re-sign him. He was an unrestricted free agent. Terms of the agreement were not immediately known.
Hightower will have to beat out second-year running backs Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster. Helu led the team last season with 640 yards (4.2 average) and two rushing touchdowns filling in for Hightower.
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