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Portis Is Feeling Better After a Bruising Sunday

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By Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis was walking slowly yesterday, but at least he was still upright despite taking a pounding in a 28-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

"I'm actually all right," said Portis, asked about a sore shin that kept him out of several days of practice last week and was aggravated against the Chiefs. "I feel pretty sore today, but I feel all right. [The shin] is still the same. It's sore, but it will be all right."

Portis gained 77 rushing yards in 21 carries and added 51 on four pass receptions. He is ranked No. 9 in the NFL in rushing with 443 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, but is the only back among the top 17 in the league without a rushing touchdown.

"Clinton to me is a stud," Coach Joe Gibbs said. "Clinton is slamming it up in there, running like mad. He's got a shin that keeps getting kicked. He was limping so bad coming off the field [Sunday]. Clinton is a tough, tough guy."

Center Casey Rabach, who left in the second half with a mild ankle sprain, then returned and finished the game, said he thinks he'll be healthy enough to start Sunday against the 49ers at FedEx Field.

Starting cornerback Shawn Springs, who was on the game day inactive list with a bruised shin, got off the plane Sunday night and came to Redskins Park for treatment. He is expected to return to practice tomorrow.

No Playing Down 49ers

Gibbs began the process of convincing his team the 1-4 San Francisco 49ers, losers of four straight, will be a formidable foe when he told reporters yesterday: "We've had five different instances where we've had people write things about the 49ers coming in here and we should win the ballgame. I think our fans are smart enough to figure that out. Up here, there are no favorites. Every game we play comes down to the last play. My point is, why would somebody say that, particularly when it's not true?

"Up here, every week every other team can beat every other team. What's the motivation for saying that or writing that? I don't get it. I'm just going to tell our football team, 'Hey, look, don't pay any attention to that.' We need to pay attention to . . . winning football games. Everybody that comes here will have a chance of beating us. That will be all year long. And certainly the 49ers. Ask St. Louis, who we think is one of the best football teams around. The 49ers worked them over.

"I just want to say to everybody so everybody recognizes it, and make sure that we understand it, it's a ridiculous thing to say. Ridiculous to state it in some way that you know it's going to be on somebody's bulletin board. It's one thing to say you're a favorite, it's another thing to make light of another football team in the NFL. It's a ridiculous way to state something is all I'm saying. You sometimes wonder what's the motivation there. To help the other team? I don't know. You tell me. I'm just saying it. I wanted to get it off my chest."

The Redskins are 12-point favorites.

Clark to Be Re-Examined

Safety Ryan Clark did not make the trip to Kansas City because of a bruised spleen diagnosed only Friday. Clark said he will be re-examined today and Gibbs said the results of several tests will determine his status against the 49ers. Clark, who practiced most of last week, said he had difficulty sleeping Thursday night. "I wasn't in excruciating pain where I thought I was going to die," he said, "but it just never went away. The doctor told me if it had been diagnosed Sunday after the [Denver] game or Monday, if I had a couple of days rest, I'd have been all right. . . . It would have given it a chance to heal up properly." . . . Gibbs said he anticipates no moves today, the NFL trading deadline. . . . Running back Ladell Betts, also inactive against the Chiefs with a sore groin, may be able to return to practice this week. . . . Kicker John Hall (quadriceps) is expected to kick more this week. Defensive lineman Cedric Killings (high ankle sprain) and Joe Salave'a (plantar fasciitis) may not be able to play Sunday, according to director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer. Cornerback Carlos Rogers (sore ankle) and safety Sean Taylor (back) are expected to practice this week, Tyer said.

Staff writer Jason La Canfora contributed to this report.


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