Redskins Notebook

Portis, Bowen Could Miss Game vs. Bengals

Defensive lineman Brandon Noble continues to recover from a knee infection and is not ruling out playing tomorrow.
Defensive lineman Brandon Noble continues to recover from a knee infection and is not ruling out playing tomorrow. (By Joel Richardson -- The Washington Post)
By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Washington Redskins could be without two more starters in tomorrow's preseason game against Cincinnati, as running back Clinton Portis missed yesterday's practice with soreness in his elbow and safety Matt Bowen was carted off the practice field with a mild right knee sprain, although the injury appeared serious at the time.

Portis said he does not believe his problem is severe, but he has aggravated it several times -- most recently during Tuesday's practice -- and Coach Joe Gibbs said the team may hold him out of the game at FedEx Field.

Bowen suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee in October, and re-injured the area during yesterday's 11-on-11 drills. Initial evaluations were favorable and Bowen was able to walk with the injury wrapped and said he felt fine.

He is listed as day-to-day with a sprained medial collateral ligament, but given his lengthy recovery from surgery, the team could decide to rest him through the weekend.

"Initially, the [trainers] that were here said it still felt tight and everything, so that was good," Gibbs said. "We'll just have to wait and see. It might be we have to wait overnight."

Portis worked out with the running backs yesterday but did not take part in contact drills. "It's sore, but it's fine," Portis said. Gibbs said Portis has bursitis, and hitting the ground has prevented his elbow from healing completely.

"It keeps agitating and worrying us there," Gibbs said. "They're trying to get it to calm down."

The Redskins have six running backs in camp -- plenty to get them through tomorrow's game -- which could result in Portis watching from the sideline as a precaution.

Arrington Is Unlikely to Play

Linebacker LaVar Arrington, back from two major knee surgeries, continues to be brought along slowly in practice and it seems unlikely he will play tomorrow, or take more than a few snaps. Arrington has been very limited in the 11-on-11 drills after aggravating his knee problem during previous comeback attempts.

Defensive lineman Brandon Noble, who could not participate in most of offseason training or the first two weeks of camp while recovering from a knee infection, worked well in 11-on-11 drills yesterday, but said he must still rebuild his strength and conditioning. Noble is not ruling out participating tomorrow night, but understands the importance of biding his time. "Part of me really wants to go out and play football," Noble said, "but I know I need to be smart about this."

One Safety Cut, One Signed

The Redskins released safety Eric Brown yesterday -- he practiced only once after signing Tuesday -- and signed free agent safety Siddeeq Shabazz, a three-year veteran who was previously with Atlanta, to take his spot. The team has continued to work out defensive backs because of injuries. Safeties Tony Dixon (hamstring) and Ryan Clark (knee sprain) remained out of practice, and cornerbacks Walt Harris (quad strain) and Artrell Hawkins (hamstring) are out as well. Cornerbacks Shawn Springs and Garnell Wilds returned from minor injuries earlier this week. . . .

Receiver Taylor Jacobs (sprained toe) said he remains week-to-week. Although he is walking better, there is still swelling around his toe. "I'm doing good; I'm ahead of schedule right now," said Jacobs, who has missed nearly two weeks. . . .

Center Cory Raymer remained out of town with his wife, who is having complications with her pregnancy, and is excused for as long as necessary. . . . Defensive lineman Melvin Williams was cut yesterday.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company