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New Play Leads to First Touchdown for Rookie Thomas

By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, December 1, 2008

Rookie wide receiver Devin Thomas has become a bigger part of the game plan on offense each week. Thomas made his biggest contribution yesterday, scoring the Washington Redskins' only touchdown on a 29-yard reverse during a 23-7 loss to the New York Giants at FedEx Field.

In the second quarter, quarterback Jason Campbell tossed the ball to running back Ladell Betts, who was moving toward the left end, and Betts handed it to Thomas as he went in the other direction. Thomas, who picked up a key block from Campbell, raced around the right end and dived into the end zone.

The touchdown occurred after cornerback Corey Webster was called for illegal use of the hands against wide receiver Santana Moss, which erased his interception.

"It's actually new this week in our offense, but we've had other reverses that just haven't been called," Coach Jim Zorn said of the play. "We wanted to call this one. It was in for the first time this week and called.

"I was excited for Devin. I was excited for the execution. The execution was very -- it was flawless, really, and it resulted in a big play."

Thomas, who did not have any receptions, said he was "very appreciative of the opportunity of finally getting in the [end] zone. The only thing I'm disappointed about was the fact that" he forgot to keep the ball after he scored his first NFL touchdown.

Portis Adds Neck to Ailments

The Redskins reported only one new injury -- a neck sprain to Clinton Portis that forced him out of the game briefly. Several players, including linebacker London Fletcher and defensive end Andre Carter, played despite lingering ailments.

Both players were hobbled after the game, playing through foot sprains, with Carter's role more limited than usual. Carter said he did not feel as good as normal given the injury, while Fletcher said his discomfort escalated as the game went on. The defense was on the field for more than 35 minutes.

"Really the worst part was just near the end, when it started getting sore," Fletcher said.

Portis has battled knee, hip and rib problems in recent weeks, often unable to practice. He suffered the blow to his neck at the end of a pass reception in the second quarter.

The Redskins trailed from early in the game and were unable to rely on the run as much as normal, and Portis carried just 11 times for 22 yards. Portis, who entered this week as the NFL's leading rusher, said he has no intentions of coming out of the lineup.

The Redskins played without two of their starters who were inactive because of injuries. Linebacker Marcus Washington's high-ankle sprain could keep him out at least another week, and defensive tackle Kedric Golston was out with bone spurs in his ankle.

Reunion With Gibbs

Former coach Joe Gibbs was back at FedEx Field for the first time since he resigned in order to attend pregame ceremonies honoring late safety Sean Taylor. He spoke at length with team owner Daniel Snyder before the ceremony and hugged several of his former players, including wide receiver Santana Moss.

"They're doing great," Gibbs said. "I told Dan he did a great job in selecting Jim [Zorn], and he's a great guy to lead the team for a long time."

Staff writer Barry Svrluga contributed to this report.

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