Thursday, September 21, 2006
'Full-throttle' Portis ready to return for Redskins
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins running back Clinton
Portis practiced again Thursday and pronounced himself ready for
Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.
"They can expect a full-throttle Portis," Portis said. "It's
no setbacks or limited plays for me."
However, the Redskins could be missing two defensive starters.
Cornerback Shawn Springs won't play after straining a groin during
practice Wednesday, and assistant coach Gregg Williams said
defensive tackle Joe Salave'a was doubtful because of a strained
Portis missed last week's game at Dallas after re-injuring his
left shoulder in the season opener against Minnesota. His return is
timely, considering that coaches and players this week have spoken
of the need to re-establish the run after opening the season with
"That's going to open up our offense," said Portis, who ran
for a franchise-record 1,516 yards last year. "Our offense starts
with the running game, first and foremost. That's going to open up
the passing. Just having the opportunity to carry the team on your
back, you want to do it. Hurt shoulder or not, I want to do that."
The timing of Portis' return to health has been a mini-soap
opera since he partially dislocated his shoulder Aug. 13, with he
and coach Joe Gibbs offering different assessments of his chances
of playing in the first two regular season games. Portis said
Thursday that he was exercising some gamesmanship last week by
indicating he had a chance to play against Dallas when Gibbs had
told him he wouldn't.
"If I tell y'all, y'all were going to tell the Cowboys,"
Portis said. "So there wasn't any need to give them an advantage
and have them not prepare for me."
Portis has yet to wear a costume for any of his Thursday media
gatherings this year, as he did for many weeks in 2005. He looked
somewhat stylish Thursday in an olive green baseball cap worn
backward, but there was no outrageous character.
"I forgot I had to do this press conference," he said. "When
I walked in, I saw everybody lined up, it kind of shocked me, but
who knows? Hopefully we won't need the characters. Hopefully,
you'll see the character in this team and we'll go out and
establish win after win. But you never know."
The Redskins were hoping Springs could play in a limited role
Sunday in his first game since surgery for a torn abdominal muscle
on Aug. 15, but he strained the groin in his right leg during
individual drills Wednesday. An MRI on Thursday show no major tear.
"I know he's not going to go," Williams said. "Hopefully,
he'll be ready to go next week."
Salave'a, who was injured in the Dallas game, has not practiced