Many Starters On Offense Miss Game

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Redskins were without a significant portion of their starting offense for last night's preseason game against Pittsburgh at FedEx Field. Tailback Clinton Portis (knee) and tackle Chris Samuels (knee) remain out with long-term injuries, while guard Todd Wade (shoulder) and return specialist-tailback Rock Cartwright (hamstring) sat out with injuries suffered last week.

Coach Joe Gibbs continues to assert that had this been a regular season game, Portis would have been in the lineup, and that the tendinitis in his right knee is not severe. Gibbs and team doctors have supported a schedule of rest and rehab in an effort to limit stress on the knee as long as possible.

There is no timetable for when Portis will return to practice, and he continues to catch and run light drills, but only going straight ahead, with no cutting or turning.

"If I'm healthy for the next game or the following one, and they put me in, then they put me in," Portis said after the conclusion of this past week's practices. "I feel like I know myself out here, and I'm trying to keep my conditioning up, and it's all on them, man. I've been playing football for 12 years now, and ain't much changed.

"You're either tough or you're not. You either can take it or you can't. I done been hit before, and I know how it feels. It ain't going to be no shock. It ain't going to be no excitement. It ain't going to be no blast. It ain't like I don't know how to get. I know how to get. You just try not to get hit."

Portis has appeared jovial throughout camp and said his injury has not dampened his spirits. On the contrary, he's excited for the regular season to begin and the drudgery of August to subside.

"It's not actually getting me down," Portis said. "I'm actually getting really excited the closer I get to the regular season, because I'm starting to feel better. Actually, I'm getting excited."

More Injuries

Cornerback Ade Jimoh practiced all week but missed the game with an illness, and wide receiver James Thrash, who practiced as well, was out with an abdominal strain. Wide receivers Brandon Lloyd (shin splints), Antwaan Randle El (quadriceps) and Corey Bradford (hamstring) all missed practice time this week but were in uniform for the game, although Todd Pinkston and Bradford did not play. . . .

Safety Reed Doughty underwent neurological tests after one of his pupils become severely diluted but was cleared to play 10 minutes before kickoff. "I ran out of contact solution so I soaked my contacts overnight in like Visine," Doughty said. "So that's why it probably happened, but they didn't want to take a chance." . . .

Rookie tight end Tyler Ecker (groin), a seventh-round pick who has been unable to get on the field since the opening weekend of training camp. . . . Defensive end Jamaal Green missed the game with a shoulder burner; he suffered the injury last weekend in Tennessee and aggravated it in practice this week. . . .

Top defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, who sat out last weekend, was used in the nickel package and in the red zone only, as the coaches save the valuable cog for the regular season. . . . Place kicker Shaun Suisham, who missed from 47 yards last week, connected from 48 yards last night.

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