Duckett is insurance for Portis

Updated: August 23, 2006, 2:03 PM ET
After the three-team, two-player trade that developed Tuesday night that sent T.J. Duckett to Washington and Ashley Lelie to Atlanta, there is some lingering question in my mind about how serious Clinton Portis' shoulder injury might be. Is this trade a sign that Portis might not be 100 percent in the first part of the season? Or are the Redskins giving themselves a solid one-two punch at running back that they feel will get them over the hump this year?

Clinton Portis
As I stated in my earlier blog, shoulder injuries at certain positions can affect how well players get their jobs done. Portis could have lingering soreness and range-of-motion problems all season, and if were to take a solid hit on that shoulder, he could be out for a series or the rest of a game. An effective running game will be key for the 'Skins this year, as it was in 2005.

Joe Gibbs cannot be pleased with the performance of his backup running backs, as they have combined for only 55 yards on 27 carries in two preseason games. Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright and Nehemiah Broughton have not gotten the job done so far. So Washington took advantage of the opportunity to upgrade its running game with a proven back in Duckett.