Portis better, Moss still ailing as Redskins prepare for Lions Print
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Thursday, 04 October 2007 12:12
NFL Headline News

 ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -Running back Clinton Portis practiced on his sore knee and is ready to go. Receiver Santana Moss did a lot of sprints and little else.
The health of two important parts of the Washington Redskins offense took different paths Thursday as the team prepared for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.
``It feels night and day,'' Portis said. ``Yesterday was my first day trying to do anything, and it was limited. Today I ran full speed on numerous plays. I felt real good.''
Portis has a bruised and slightly sprained right knee, the same knee that was beset by tendinitis for nearly all of training camp. Portis said he was surprised that his latest setback has caused so much drama, which was compounded earlier in the week when coach Joe Gibbs unintentionally gave incorrect details about the injury.
``Now it's 'What's wrong with Portis?' 'Is Portis going to play?''' Portis said. ``A couple of months ago, it was like 'Get rid of Portis.'''
Moss, meanwhile, is dealing with a groin injury that could loom larger for the Redskins than Portis' ailment. If Portis can't play, at least the team can turn to Ladell Betts, who rushed for more than 1,100 yards last year. If Moss doesn't go, the possible options include James Thrash, Reche Caldwell, Keenan McCardell and Brandon Lloyd - none of whom has a catch this year.
Lloyd might not be available, either. He sat out Thursday's practice after getting kicked in the shin Wednesday.
Gibbs said he will trust Moss for an honest assessment on whether the receiver can play. However, the coach also said that Friday, when the team has its last significant practice of the week, will be a ``drop-dead day'' for Moss to get on the field and show some progress.
Moss seemed to agree.
``I did more today,'' Moss said. ``But until I really, really, really get out there and try to make a hard plant or run a route at full speed - then I'll know more.''
Both players were hurt in a 24-17 loss to the New York Giants before the bye week. Portis' injury was never considered serious, and the fact that he's healthy enough to play seemed to lift his spirits during his weekly meeting with reporters.
Portis elaborated on comments made this week by Gibbs, who said the running back was one of his best players when it comes to approaching the head coach on the sidelines during the game and suggesting a play to run.
``They do a good job of telling you here 'Don't come up and suggest a play: Suggest a formation, suggest everything. Let us know what you're talking about,''' Portis said. ``I try to stay on top of things, study. And when I go and make a suggestion, I have to tell them to look me in the eyes and let them know it's on me. If I get hit in the backfield, it's on me because this is a play I requested.''
Already jokingly referred to by his teammates as the team's general manager, Portis was asked if he was angling for a coaching job as well. He said he wouldn't want to coach because of the time commitment involved.
``I want to have enough money saved up so when I walk away from this game I can talk noise to y'all,'' Portis said. ``I can make all the comments I want to make.''
Asked if the knee bothered him during practice, Portis instead referenced the unseasonably warm October day.
``When I was out there I had a bigger distraction. It was so hot out there today and having these jogging pants and long sleeves on, the sun felt like it was right here,'' he said, holding his hand up to his eye.
 

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