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Banks and Williams go from bubble to roster

Two of the relative surprises when the final 53-man roster was announced late Saturday were wide receivers Roydell Williams and Brandon Banks.

Both players were on the bubble as the Redskins debated whether to keep five or six receivers. For both Banks and Williams, making the roster was the final step of long uphill battles that each had to overcome.

"They gave me a shot here, a shot to really show what I can do, and I think I showed enough," said Williams. "But there's more that I can do. Just got to keep working."

Williams missed the past two seasons with injuries, including a broken bone in his hand that ended his hopes of making the Redskins roster last year. Williams, selected in the fourth round of the 2005 draft by Tennessee, had his best year in 2007 when he started 14 games and caught 55 passes for 719 yards and four touchdowns. His season was ended by an injured right ankle in practice, and he was released the following preseason when he could not get healthy.

The Redskins signed Williams last season, but he suffered a finger injury and was released. This year, Williams hoped to stay healthy enough to have a shot.

"To me that was my biggest problem is health-wise," Williams said. "I never doubted my ability to play football. It was just a matter of staying healthy."

At 5-feet-7 and 150 pounds, Banks was considered by some to be too small to make it to the NFL. Banks said he heard the doubts his whole life. This preseason, however, he showed up big, doing enough to impress Redskins' coaches.

Banks returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown in the preseason opener and flashed some big-play ability. Despite three fumbles, including one lost, the Redskins felt Banks talent was worth keeping around.

It was a moment Banks cherished, he said, because it proved the doubters wrong.

"Just all the things I've been through and coming from the bottom to the top, all the struggles and all the people that told me I couldn't make it," Banks said, "I had a point to prove and I think I did."

By Paul Tenorio  |  September 6, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Brandon Banks , wide receivers  
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