Redskins running back Roy Helu could provide a boost for the offense when he returns next season. But he has to get his toe healthy. And, so far, that’s taking time.

Helu was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 26 because of a turf toe, which is a sprained ligament near the joint of the big toe, on his left foot. He also dealt with Achilles’ tendon issues in both legs, leaving him ineffective from the time training camp opened until he landed on IR. But a healthy Helu would provide a speedier third-down option, particularly on screens, than Evan Royster. Helu said he’ll “definitely” be ready for the organized team activity workouts in the spring.

“The process has been slow,” Helu said. “It takes a long time to recover from.”

But he’s still not able to run at full speed.

“I can jog and do gassers across the field,” he said. “That’s stuff I can do without pain. I haven’t tried to sprint yet. It’s random when the pain comes; it’s mostly when I get on my toes, which is a sprinter’s position.”

Below: John Keim discusses the Redskins' defense