Tendinitis in His Right Knee Again Keeps Portis on the Sideline

By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis did not practice yesterday because of tendinitis in his right knee, the same injury that kept him out of the three-day minicamp six weeks ago.

Coach Joe Gibbs did not provide a timetable for Portis, meaning Portis could practice today or the team might be more cautious. Gibbs did add that Portis is considered day-to-day by the medical staff. The Redskins will hold two practices today and one each tomorrow and Friday before Saturday's scrimmage at Baltimore.

With Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels likely out for the preseason, the injury to Portis raised an unwelcome red flag for the Redskins. Portis missed the second half of last season with after breaking his right hand last November at Philadelphia. He spent the offseason rehabilitating from shoulder and hand surgeries only to develop tendinitis in his right knee during his offseason workout program.

Portis, 25, was unavailable to comment. It is unclear what exactly caused the flare-up, but Portis aggravated the knee during drills at Monday's morning practice. He limped after catching a swing pass over right tackle, but practiced Monday evening. Yesterday, Portis left Redskins Park with a sizable wrap over the knee.

Gibbs said the Redskins would be cautious over the next few days, but the team can ill afford a repeat of last year, when Portis was injured in the first preseason game and was not healthy all season.

His Deal Signed, Landry Takes Part

LaRon Landry practiced for the first time since signing a five-year deal worth a maximum $41.5 million that will guarantee him $17.5 million. Landry, 22, the sixth overall pick in the draft out of Louisiana State, missed six practices as the contract was finalized by his agent, Joel Segal.

"The whole time I was ready to play football," Landry said. "I was going through numbers and talking with my agent. . . . I was trying to speed up the process the whole time, but I did follow my agent's advice."

Landry was the highest-rated prospect on the Redskins' draft board, and his arrival gives the secondary its full complement of safeties. Landry is considered, at least for the time being, behind Pierson Prioleau on the depth chart, but as a top 10 pick is expected to quickly be a starter.

Safety Sean Taylor and cornerback Carlos Rogers -- top 10 picks -- made their first NFL start within five games.

"I'm not here to compete with my teammates. We're here to work together," Landry said. "I just want to get out there and help the team. I'm my own person and I'm ready to help my team in the best way."

Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said the toughest thing for Landry would be conditioning. Landry said yesterday that, even though he worked out with the team when he was still unsigned during the June minicamp, he feels he is behind after missing the equivalent of a week of practices.

"He took his playbook with him. He wasn't that far behind at all. We've had six or seven practices worth of installs and he hit right in," safeties coach Steve Jackson said. "He took a lot more reps than he was supposed to and he did well. It's rare that a guy can come in on his first day and take as many reps as he did. He wanted more."

It is clear that the Redskins want to create a bond between Taylor, the free safety, and Landry, at strong, two young players considered to be the future at both positions. During drills yesterday, Landry and Taylor were paired together, even when second-team linemen and linebackers were on the field.

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